Create Stronger Connections With Family This SeasonDec 15, 2022
How to go from Contention to Connection with Loved Ones
Holiday gatherings with family can be a great opportunity to reconnect and strengthen relationships, but they can also be a source of stress and tension. To ensure your family gathering is a positive experience, here are some tips that will help you go from contention to connection this holiday season.
Get out of your head. No doubt, we all bring a lot of history to gatherings over the holidays - especially with family. This can lead us to also bring our past patterns of engaging with family to the present day, sending us into the same old cycles of tension and contention. You can break this cycle! The first step to getting out of your head is to acknowledge and accept your thoughts for what they are. Don't try to push them away or ignore them - simply observe and acknowledge them without judging. This will help to create some emotional distance between you and your thoughts, and make it easier to let go of them.
Pause and drop into your body. When you do feel overwhelmed by your thoughts, pause. Take a few deep breaths. This will help to slow down your heart rate and relax your body, which in turn will help to clear your mind. Remember, dropping into your body is one of the most effective ways to get out of your head.
Keep things in perspective. It’s important to remember that the holidays are not a time for perfection, but rather a time for acceptance, understanding and appreciation. Don’t expect everyone to get along perfectly and be on their best behavior. With this perspective, you can approach situations with curiosity, an open mind, and not take things so personally if conflict does arise. Curiosity and openness are a bridge to open communication, which is a bridge to connection!
When it comes to enjoying the holidays, ultimately it’s up to us to bring awareness to our thoughts and emotions. By doing so, we are empowered to be present and compassionate — actually embodying the spirit of love and connection over the holidays.