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The holiday season is upon us and as American commercialization pushes this at us earlier and earlier, I find myself wanting to hid earlier and earlier. The Christmas decorations are already out. The ads are blaring. Black Friday now starts the week before Black Friday. And all this noise and this visual stimulation stresses me out.

Literally.

My body gets literally stressed as my chest tightens and my breath becomes quicker and more shallow. This time of year causes all sorts of emotional things for me to pop up but I don’t always recognize that’s what’s happening in the moment. Sometimes I just find myself walking around feeling stressed and I don’t stop to ask why.

So here are the five steps you can figure out what’s going on with you and your body so you can transform your anxiety into peace all throughout the day.

Five Steps To Cultivate Peace in an Anxious Situation

  1. Notice When You Lose Your Peace

    The first step is to simply notice that you’ve lost your center of peace. You may feel anxious, scared, depressed, stressed, upset, etc. There are many words to describe that you don’t have a strong, unshakable sense of peace at the moment. The first step is just to notice that.

  2. Calm your body down.

    The second step is to calm your body down. Take a deep breath through your nose. Try to breathe in for 6 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, and then breathe out for 7 seconds. Do this a few times until you feel yourself calming down. Also change the posture of your body. When we do not have peace, our body has outward signs. Maybe our shoulders are slumped, maybe there is a tightness in our chest. Maybe your head is hung low as you feel ashamed. Change your body and it will help change your mood. Stand tall, breathe deep, push your shoulders back, and smile. After all you’re a daughter of a king.

  3. Ask yourself why you lost your peace?

    After noticing you’ve lost your peace and calming your body down, you need to look around and figure out why you lost your peace. Was it a room filled with people? Did someone make a snide remark about you? Do the noises or sales ads trigger you? What person, group of people, situation, or thing triggered you to lose your peace?

  4. Bring Christ into the situation.

    Now that you’ve identified what triggered you to lose your peace, bring Christ into the situation. You can find Christ in any situation. He’s cool like that. If a store is overly crowded, thank God that all these souls have been blessed to shop for their families. If a person is being rude, pray that the pain in their heart can be healed by the Lord. If you are feeling jealous over something you do not have, praise God for the person who is and ask that their pain is healed too. Because that’s the thing ladies, we all have pain. Every single one of us. See Christ in every person and in every situation.

  5. Ask yourself, “What does this say about me?”

    The last step, and this is definitely the hardest step but the one most worth exploring is to ask yourself, “What does this say about me?” If you’re feeling anxious at a holiday party or in a store and you’ve figured out your trigger, ask yourself, “Why did that trigger me?” There will be an easy answer at first but then dig deeper and ask, “What does that say about me?” The answer will usually sound like “I’m not good enough” or “no one really likes me” or “I’ll never fit in” or “I don’t really matter.” Something like that. I won’t ask you to fix that negative track in your head today but your job over the next few weeks is to simply notice how often this message comes up.

If you don’t dread the holidays, praise God! Go out and help those who do because this is a time of great anxiety, depression, and loneliness for a lot of people and you can help bring them peace.

For those of you who do struggle with the holidays, come to my free Be Merry Workshop! I’d love for you to be there live so I can answer your questions but all the workshops will be recorded and posted later so you can catch them on your own time!