EMOTIONS are ENERGY and the energy from others can affect empaths deeply. With emotions running high over the holidays (family conflicts, old feelings stirred up, too much rum in the eggnog), it's no wonder we get anxious and dread the whole of December.
But attitude is energy, too. And as I discovered through many unpleasant holiday moments, the attitude I bring in greatly contributes to how my holidays turn out. So let's check in and see where we're at. Which statement most closely reflects your attitude now?
I know the holidays are going to be stressful (because that's just the way my family is).
I want to have a nice holiday, but I doubt it will turn out that way.
It's best if I have no expectations.
I expect it will be up to me to keep the peace and make it a happy holiday.
No matter what happens, I know everything will work out in the end.
I think this will be the best holiday season yet.
(Declare any other attitude you have).
If your answer to the attitude check-in is more bah-humbug than ho-ho-ho, you're not alone...
A recent social media survey asked empaths what kind of stress they were anticipating this holiday season:
Nearly half said they were facing high stress and not sure how they would get through December
40% responded that they were taking it a day at a time
12% said they weren't anticipating any stress
The usual tips for empaths include self-care techniques like meditations, energy work, getting enough sleep and taking a time out when feeling overwhelmed — and now we can add ATTITUDE SHIFT to our holiday stocking. How do we put that into practice? I found that these 3 strategies can be very effective.
GOD/UNIVERSE - By holding the attitude that everything will work out for the best and that every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow spiritually, we are confirming that with have faith and trust that God/Universe has our back. I also find it helps to remember that God may be using me to help someone else on their journey and so I routinely say to the Universe, "I'm here to serve in whatever way is needed. I trust you." It's amazing how much tension can instantly dissolve after making that declaration. Try it now!
SELF - When our attitude about ourselves is fear-based (I can't handle this... I'm going to mess up...I don't know how...), we are essentially unplugging from our power source. When I feel that happening, I hold my hands in front of me (like the prongs on a plug) and imagine I am plugging myself back into the socket of Divine Energy. It helps to add music or do the exercise outside in nature. This is most effective if you PRACTICE it regularly before you feel powerless.
OTHERS - Our attitude about others is where we spend a lot of our energy because it reflects where we think we rank in the social order. That is a topic we could explore for hours and still barely chip the tip of the iceberg (more about that here in this empath relationship training video) — but for the sake of this immediate holiday, here are three strategies:
When you greet someone — after the handshake, hug or kiss — look them in the eye and send them a loving thought. I've started using the Ho'oponopono prayer: "Thank you, I love you, I'm sorry, Forgive me." (Notice if one statement feels stronger than the others with different people).
Look at someone and mentally list the things that GOD would love about the person. Really put yourself in God's shoes (size infinity) and gently bring yourself back if you notice you are getting distracted with your own judgements.
Send a Telepathic Gift - meaning, telepathically send someone a gift they could use in the moment. For example, if your Aunt Emma is getting short-tempered with you, send her the gift of peace and calm. If someone is Scrooging up your Christmas, send them the gift of joy and an open heart.
I hope these tips help you grow in compassion and love for yourself and all mankind. If you need little extra support over the holidays, I'm offering 30-minute empath coaching sessions via phone or video. Request a time with me!
Jeannette is the author of the novel "Diary of a Teenage Empath" and two HSP/Empath workbooks for children & teens. She is an Integrative Health Coach who, with her mentor Dr. Wendy Nickerson, launched the first-ever accredited HSP training program for mental health professionals. She leads an HSP community group in Halifax and advocates for HSPs in the mental health community.
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