A Quick Holiday Related Mental Health Hint

Have you ever been with your family during the holidays and find that you are acting like you did when you were younger and less mature? That’s because it isn’t unusual for a person to regress some under a circumstance of stress and you might experience this when you’re with your family of origin. This is further complicated because often the people you grew up with remember the earlier version of you and relate to you in that way.  You might then respond in kind by unconsciously falling right into that role from an earlier time.

You’re not alone. It is not unusual for someone to leave holiday gatherings wondering how they allowed themselves to behave so poorly. If you’re like most people, you want to avoid this trap and being aware of it will make it much less likely to happen. Here are some ways to increase your odds of success.  Stay centered and regain clarity by taking deeper breaths to oxygenate your brain. Remember that stress makes clear thinking more of a challenge. Both stress and alcohol will reduce the executive functions of your brain that control rational thinking, good judgment, and impulse control.  Focus on your breath and use this time to shift your perspective. Consider all of the bounty you have in family and friends, and really count your blessings. For more on perspective shifting, there is a complete article here in the website. Enjoy your holidays!

DAKOTA BAKER MA,LPCC,LADC TELEPHONE: 612•750•5378 FAX: 651•636•0243 EMAIL ME PROUD MEMBER OF: Minnesota Psychological Association MARRCH
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