Whole Life Magazine

December 2019 / January 2020

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1196907

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Page 17 of 31

The Holidays! 'Tis the Season of High Expectations By Laura rhodes-Levin A s the holiday season approaches us, it is not usually "visions of sugar plums that dance in our heads." Often people have visions of anxiety and unrealistic expectations of themselves, as well as their family members. Intrusive thoughts about flying on a plane, what presents to buy, how we can afford to get through the season, and how everyone will get along may be dancing through our heads. Disappointment comes from expectations not realized. e trick to avoiding expectations is to use your energy to be in the moment rather than in the unpredictable anxiety- ridden future. Let's start with flying. Many people like flying and some just think of it as a way to get from point A to point B. But, if you are one of those people who experience anxiety around flying, otherwise known as aviophobia, the following may help. I like to say that "anxiety is a liar that predicts doom." If you're afraid of flying, chances are you are imagining the worst. You're probably not envisioning that they are going to bump you up to first class unexpectedly, where you can watch your favorite movies while being served a delicious meal. Anxiety is probably painting a picture that involves being trapped in your seat, next to a person that repels you, in the plane that might crash. Neither of those two scenarios is likely to be true. You probably aren't going to spend your time and energy thinking about first class, so don't waste your time thinking about the doom-filled situation either. Many people report that the anticipation of the flight is more excruciating than the actual flight itself. So, don't think about your flight until you are on it! It's like the DMV syndrome. Very few people enjoy going to the DMV and spend the next several weeks dreading it. You've just spent three weeks at the DMV when you could've spent 2-3 hours. If you don't like flying, don't spend the weeks leading up to it thinking about it! If you're standing in the grocery line, think about the yummy dinner you're going to make. Or read a magazine for a few moments, just don't spend that time on the doom-filled plane fantasy. A lot of people worry while they're lying in bed. ey are wrapped up with negative ideas. You may as well lay there thinking about being bumped up to first class. At least it will feel better. It's much nicer to enjoy your imaginary trip

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