LET GO OF YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
Whilst catching up with family/friends at Christmas can be a wonderful time, for many, it can also be a very stressful and anxious time. If you’re already dreading the Christmas day lunch and you’re starting to feel the anxiety build up, take a moment to think about what expectations you’ve set up for the event in your mind.
A lot of what drives anxiety is the thoughts we think, the constant worry of what ‘may happen’ and the expectations we set up in our minds. We begin to worry about things beyond our control and things which, more than likely never happen.
So ask yourself honestly what expectations you are setting yourself up for? Is it realistic? Can you control it? Can you let it go and just be present in the moment?Letting go of expectations, allows you to just be in the moment and experience things as they come. Enjoy the experience as it is, without meaning, without any expectation that the event, or someone should be a particular way. Let go of the thoughts, anticipations and just try to be completely in the moment. Try not to pre-suppose anything.
If you’re expecting an event or someone to be difficult, hard, tiresome, dramatic, boring, these are all things you’re creating within your own mind and again worrying about things that haven’t even occurred.
When you can identify the expectations you’re currently setting up and worrying about, write it down or say it out aloud and then counter it with a more empowering statement, such as’ I let go of all expectations’. Every time you find yourself worrying about what ‘might’ happen Christmas day, catch the thought/expectation immediately and re-state the affirmation.
Another strategy you can do, once you’ve written down what you expect to happen, think of a better outcome than the one you ‘anticipate’. Something that puts you in control. For example, if you expect someone to be controversial and this causes anxiety for you. Think of an empowering decision and action you can make and employ this. So you might decide that instead of doing what you would normally do, you can walk away from this person, you can find another person to talk to. Or perhaps if you can’t avoid them, keep the conversation short, pleasant and move on.
Remember that creating or anticipating that something might happen, only increases your anxiety levels. So try to remove the expectation and be present in the moment.