It might seem impossible but getting rid of the stress at Christmas is really about being able to manage your frame of mind.
Many of my coaching clients find it really difficult and stressful at this time of year and the main sources of stress can be very different for each and every one of them.
Now you may be thinking “but what has this got to do with communication Cath?”
It has everything to do with communication!
Common sources of “Christmas stress “ (and by that I mean stress over the Christmas holiday period) are
- Not getting on with family
- Having to spend time with people you don’t like
- The dreaded office party – having to go, inappropriate behavior of the boss , and so on
- Not having enough time to get everything done
- Boring family events
- Having to visit relatives when you would rather be doing something else – or feeling guilty when you don’t visit
- Not being able to say “no”
- Having to find the money to get the presents that people expect
and there are many, many more.
I’m sure you can relate to some, if not all, of these and you probably have some of your own to add!
The thing is each and every one of these problems comes down to a lack of communication or inappropriate or poor communication, either with other people or with yourself.
When you learn how to improve your communication then many, if not all, of these problems disappear.
Here are 3 things that you can do to begin to change the situation and get rid of the stress.
The first thing is to take full responsibility for your communication
and that includes how it is received. If it is not received in the “right” way then accept that you need to change how you deliver it.
The second thing is to manage your own state.
A simple way to become more relaxed in a stressful situation is to focus.
(This is one of steps in the very powerful four part F.L.O.W. process that I teach on all of my programmes).
An easy way to do this is to compose yourself by concentrating on your breathing.
You don’t need to do deep breathing for this technique just breathe at your normal rate.
As you breathe in take your tongue up behind your top teeth and press gently on your soft palate.
As you breathe out take your tongue down behind your bottom teeth and press on the soft palate there.
Four or five breaths should be sufficient to alter your focus and you will feel more relaxed and the feelings of being stressed will disappear.
This is an adaptation of a Brain Gym technique which uses physical movements and exercises to reduce and remove stress.
By the way this is a really good exercise to do before any sort of exam or presentation or even before playing golf!
The third step is to listen and think before you decide what it is you want to communicate and how you are going to communicate it.
Ask yourself is it going to get you the result you want ?
Do you even know what result you want to get?
Is it going to increase your stress or reduce it?
And then think how you would like to receive what you are about to say.
Would you welcome it or be offended by it if someone said it to you?
Because often we just react without thinking when we are stressed and this very often makes the situation worse.
Being able to step back and take a bit of time to manage your own state, and think about the results you want to get can make all the difference in the world.
Wishing you all a stressless holiday!
Until next time,
with best wishes for your success,
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