While the holidays are a time of happiness and celebration for millions, many people find them more mournful than joyful. Loss of a spouse, child or family member, divorce, or dealing with difficult relatives can make the holidays feel like the worst of times.
“During the holiday period, the problems we have, or losses we feel can be especially overwhelming,” said The Human Behavior Coach ™ Beverly D. Flaxington, author of “Self-Talk for a Calmer You.” (Adams Media; $15.95; paperback; 223 pp; ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-6480-2)
While feelings of upset are perfectly normal and expected, those feelings are often exacerbated by what Flaxington calls negative self-talk.
“Negative self-talk is a running voice in the person’s mind that tells the person they will never feel okay again, or their life no longer has any purpose, because of what’s happened to them,” Flaxington said. “The continual flow of negative self-talk takes a bad situation and intensifies it. People lose any chance they might have to find a small ray of happiness.”
The antidote to negative self-talk, Flaxington said, is positive self-talk. Positive self-talk consists of positive, analytical statements and affirmations which uplift, enhance, and encourage individuals, and help them to reach a goal, accomplish a task, or improve their life. These positive, self-authored stories announce what good things are going to happen in a person’s life before they happen.
“The anxiety or depression caused by the death of a loved one, divorce, or job-loss at the holidays can be gradually lifted by enough of the right kind of positive self-talk,” Flaxington said.
In her book, she lays out detailed step-by-step approaches with powerful positive exercises designed for those who have experienced great personal losses, and who wish to use positive self-talk to move past their grieving and seek out new relationships. With certain sectors of the economy experiencing high unemployment, and a record number of Americans on welfare, another holiday anxiety that can be somewhat soothed by positive self-talk, is the general worry about personal finance and job security.
“It’s important to first write down the beliefs you have about how this situation could affect your life, such as, ‘If I lose my job, I can’t pay the mortgage or send my kids to college, and we’ll starve,'” Flaxington said. “Then realize that these outcomes are all conjecture fueled by your negative self-talk. Instead, you want to quickly shift any catastrophic self-talk about being doomed to something more positive and powerful.”
The best strategy for maxed-out personal finances, and a shaky economy is to get busy identifying the resources and the attributes, skills, support systems, intellectual abilities, and strengths you possess that could help you deal with the situation. The following positive self-talk – and other appropriate affirmations from the book – should be recited frequently:
‘I am bigger than any situation I face. I was made to deal with my life and everything that comes to me.’
“The positive self-talk response to stress is not just to look on the bright side, but to allow yourself some time to be calm and not drained by streams of negative self-talk when you need your full attention to handle difficult situations,” Flaxington said.
Besides chapters on easing anxieties connected to the loss of loved ones and job security, “Self-Talk for a Calmer You” contains information about:
- easing stress in a marriage
- removing anxiety caused by lack of resources and difficult personalities in the workplace
- job hunting
- anxiety connected to public speaking, major life changes, or managing stressful situations
- anxiety caused by weight loss failures or work overload
- the “secret” to sticking to a New Year’s resolution
- advice for defining and attaining “your bliss” in life
“The book helps you compile a personal toolkit that you can use in any situation to stop negative self-talk in its tracks and put you on a more successful path to the positive outcomes you desire,” Flaxington said.
Beverly D. Flaxington (selftalkforacalmeryou.com), The Human Behavior Coach™, is a two-time bestselling and gold-award winning author. She is a corporate consultant and trainer, executive coach, successful entrepreneur, hypnotherapist and hypnosis trainer, college professor, motivational public speaker, and a certified behavioral-and-values analyst. Her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, and many others. She is also devoted to animal rescue and currently has eleven pets of her own in addition to multiple fosters. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children.