It’s that time of year again. You know the time that I am talking about. The time where people get together, spend ridiculous amounts on presents, drink vast quantities of alcohol and argue with their family.
Of course, you didn’t expect me to say that now, did you. Christmas articles usually talk about the JOY of the festive season. But in this article, I want to do something a little different.
I want to talk about why for some of us, Christmas can be a living nightmare.
For those of us who have a fear or phobia, Christmas can be a nightmare, because it means that our fear or phobia can be brought to the forefront. But not only can it be awful for us – it can also have an impact on friends and family. Which can make it even more difficult to deal with (and harder to stay in denial about).
Think about it – you have a social anxiety, fear or phobia, so what do you do at Christmas? You hide away from your family. Or, you have an issue with alcohol – what happens? You drink one too many martinis and argue at the office party.
Perhaps you have a phobia of Santa – seriously, some people can’t stand him! I happen to know someone who is petrified of the Nutcracker, because of something that happened in his childhood.
Regardless of what your fear or phobia is around Christmas, chances are, like most fears and phobias, it is linked to something that happened when you were little.
Something happened, that caused you to panic and your subconscious mind grabbed hold of it. It took hold of it, and made sure that from that moment onwards, whenever something comes into your reality, that even closely resembles it, your mind and your body will go into a state of PANIC.
You might not even be aware of where your original trigger came from, but the good news is that you actually CAN fix things. However, because phobias are based in the part of the brain that is illogical, you will likely need to seek therapy. Only a trained therapist like myself can access and go as deep as your subconscious.
Of course, because I don’t want you to miss out on the fun with friends and family this year, I have put together a quick tip for you.
Christopher’s quick tip on how to handle things:
Next time you find yourself panicking, literally, take a step back. Step back physically, and take a deep breath. Distance yourself from the situation.
Whether you are surrounded by people and have a social phobia, or you are about to walk past Santa and cannot stand him – you are in control of your reaction. By simply being ‘aware’ of your fear or phobia, you can CHOOSE how you handle things. You can move, from your unconscious to your conscious mind and deal with things mindfully.
Feel the ground beneath your feet – allow yourself to feel ‘grounded’ quite literally. Take a big deep breath and say to yourself ‘I can and I will handle this’. By interrupting the moment, you stop the flow of panic. Then, take yourself away from the situation, to a place where you feel comfortable again. You totally can get through this gracefully.
Of course, despite being able to handle things, you really don’t want to be living your life (and every Christmas) having to be so in control of things. If a fear or phobia is affecting your (and your family’s) life (and Christmas!), then consider gifting yourself some therapy and really get to the root of things. Make this the year to ENJOY things! Here’s to a wonderful (and phobia free!) Christmas.
Christopher Paul Jones,
Anxiety and Phobia Expert,