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The holidays offer friends and family the chance to gather together and celebrate the season’s tidings. However poignant the holiday spirit may be, many people view the holidays as a stress-inducing season. For 90 percent of Americans, the holidays are a time of incredible anxiety and hardly the “most wonderful time of the year.”


De-Stressing During the Holidays

For many to enjoy the holiday season, they need to learn to reduce their anxiety. Already anxious that the holidays are approaching? Use the following three tips to help keep the stress levels to a minimum.


1 – Let Go of Things that Happened in the Past

Having to be around family during the holidays can trigger anxiety. As some people don’t get along with heir family, this time of the year can bring up skeletons from the past that have yet to be dealt with. To avoid this sort of stress, it’s best to stay in the present by letting go of things that happened in the past. While these things still hurt and may cause discomfort, the present allows for new memories to be made.


2 – Try to Stay Positive

A lot of the holiday-related anxiety starts before the holiday season even beings. Often, most people focus on the negative experience that they will have during the holidays by imagining scenarios in their head. Instead of gearing up for an unpleasant experience, anyone that deals with anxiety over the holidays should try to focus on staying positive.

This positive thinking should carry through to the actual holiday and moments spent with family. While one could focus on the negative aspects during these moments, it’s essential to find the positivity during these situations.


3 – Practice Being Grateful

Gratitude has the power to transform one’s mindset completely. Instead of thinking about what has gone wrong in the past or what will go wrong in the future, choose to be thankful for everything that is going right in the current moment. Choosing to count one’s blessings is one of the most effective ways to pull focus one’s mind on the things that matter.

Getting through the holidays can be a challenge for people that have anxiety about dealing with family. Anyone that is already dreading the end of the year should put these three tips into practice as the holiday season draws near.


Lisa Landman holds a Doctorate in Psychology and has worked in a variety of professional settings. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!