Create an Emotional Force Field to Cope with Holiday Drama
The holiday season is often fraught with complicated social interactions among family, friends, neighbors. Many people struggle with how to enjoy holiday gatherings when there is a person (or a few) who tend to be difficult. We don’t want to miss out on the opportunities for connection and sharing with the people we love, but we fear the hurt and drain that can come from people we struggle with.
One effective strategy to manage these complicated holiday gatherings is to create an emotional force field. This is an emotional boundary that affords you a feeling of protection. This strategy has been mentioned on this blog in the past but bears repeating during the holiday season of high stress and increased social gatherings.
Steps to Creating an Emotional Force Field:
1. Begin by choosing a quiet place and time, free from distractions. Take a few moments to breathe deeply and center yourself.
2. Notice how your heart is feeling. You might focus on a word or color or sensation that represents this feeling. Try to accept your emotional state without any judgement.
3. Begin to envision a protective ribbon of light extending from your heart and wrapping all around your body like a cocoon.
4. Imagine this light as a fail-safe shield that filters the energy all around you. It allows in the positive energy and warmth, glowing brighter and stronger. And it can feel the negative energy without absorbing it. Negative energy bounces right off this protective shield.
5. You might choose a word that represents emotional security and repeat this word each time you inhale to link this word to this feeling of emotional protection.
Try practicing this exercise daily during the holidays to move through each day with greater emotional acceptance and strength. And make sure to practice this exercise right before an event you might anticipate will be difficult.
This type of mindfulness strategy can help you feel more present and find more joy in the moment. You may become more aware of all the positive and negative energy all around you, learning more about yourself and the people in your life. Allow yourself to be drawn toward the people who feed your positive thoughts and feelings about yourself rather than drain them.
Written by Suzanne Smith, Ph.D. for the Linden Blog. If you are interested in receiving Linden Blog updates with original articles about parenting, families, mental health, and wellness, subscribe using the field below. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at Linden BP call 440/250-9880.