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Causes of Family Stress & How to Manage Holiday Anxiety

The holidays should be a time for fun and festivities, but for many, it can be a time of substantial stress. Even if you may not celebrate religious holidays, family gatherings bring a special kind of heightened conflict, either internally or externally. Having to buy gifts as well as having various holiday functions for work can all add up to feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. If all that wasn’t enough stress, we also have our family functions to attend.

Causes of Family Stress

The family unit is a structure that is based on balance and equilibrium, and anything that disrupts that balance can cause a disturbance.

  • Expectations — One of the biggest causes of family stress is having expectations of yourself as well as your family members. These expectations are elevated during the holidays where everyone wants everything to be perfect, and when things do not go as planned, it upsets the family dynamic.
  • Over Extending Ourselves — When we overextend ourselves emotionally, physically, and financially, this can lead to resentment and lashing out at those we love all because we wanted to make their holiday happier.
  • Family Traditions — Having traditions such as hosting the family function can create an overwhelming degree of stress.
  • Changes in the Family — These changes can be positive, such as the birth of a child or natural changes that may alter the family dynamic, such as divorce.
  • Unhappy Memories — When the family gets together for the holidays, it may trigger unpleasant childhood memories.
  • Toxic Relatives — Having to deal with toxic relatives can cause family stress for everyone.

There are many causes of family stress, especially during the holidays, but there are ways to manage and control, and potentially alleviate holiday anxiety.

Managing Family Stress

  • Change Your Outlook — Ease your worries about what “should” be. Allow things to flow. Remember, everything does not have to be perfect, but it can be the best it can be at that moment in time.
  • Stick to a Budget — Overspending will add unnecessary monetary stress. Sticking to a budget will alleviate the added financial anxiety as well as helping you to feel more in control.
  • Plan Ahead — Taking a little time to plan out holiday preparations can help diminish last-minute stress caused by family functions.
  • It is OK to say No — Learn to say no when asked to do things that are going to cause you to feel overwhelmed and resentful. The word “no” is a complete sentence, after all!
  • Make a List of Coping Strategies — Knowing what triggers set you off and having a list of ways to deal with them can help you regain your thoughts and clear your mind. When things get hectic, you can make adjustments by doing the following:
    • Take a break and walk away for a few minutes to clear your mind.
    • Practice deep breathing exercises to calm you down and refocus your mind.
    • Learn relaxation techniques that you can apply to all your daily stressors.
  • Seeking Professional Help — Sometimes what causes holiday stress is too much to handle, so finding professional help can be the holiday life raft you need.

Finding Outside Assistance

Our thoughts can get clouded by the overwhelming amount of stress that can occur, especially around the holidays. Having a trained professional by your side can help you see problems from a different perspective.

At Miami Hypnosis & Therapy, we offer a safe and comfortable environment with highly trained professional therapists that can assist in one-on-one or family therapy. Our wide-ranging scope of services include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and hypnotherapy. By utilizing these different forms of treatment together in tailor-made treatment plans, we enhance the healing process as well as expedite your progress.

  • CBT — This form of treatment is based on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors being interconnected.
  • NLP — This form of therapy is based on the belief that the actions of our minds are the result of learned behavior which can be changed through our efforts.
  • Hypnotherapy — During a state of hypnosis, the mind is far more receptive to suggestions so the behaviors we want can be achieved.

The causes of family stress can be overwhelming, but with the proper mindset, a holiday get-together with family can be fun, festive, and anxiety-free.

As we move into Fall and the season of gathering with loved ones, make sure you have the tools to support yourself emotionally. Contact us today to get started with stress management for you and your family today.

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