The importance of knowing how to manage anxiety at Christmas

Anxiety is as natural and human a phenomenon as any of the emotions we usually think of as “positive” or pleasurable. After all, in many contexts it is useful in adapting to the circumstances around us, which is why the vast majority of people experience it relatively frequently in our daily lives.

However, it is true that in some contexts we can unintentionally “learn” to deal with anxiety problematically, which in turn exposes us to more situations that produce a high level of anxiety within us. Ultimately, all feelings and emotions are related to how we relate to the environment and to others and are prone to shaping psychological issues; and in this, anxiety is no exception.

that’s why some people feel particularly bad at Christmas due to anxiety: It’s a time of year when a lot changes, and among them, the kind of situations we need to prepare for.

    Why can other anxiety problems arise at Christmas?

    These are some of the aspects of Christmas that can promote the onset of anxiety issues.

    1. Symptoms of grief and depression associated with anxiety

    Among the families among whom Christmas is a significant event, these dates are more likely to act as a catalyst for emotional distress related to the loss of loved ones (With whom this kind of party was once shared). In other words, the grief caused by the death or emigration of a relative gains more force on Christmas.

    In this sense, we must not forget that anxiety and bad mood, even if they seem to operate according to opposite logics, often overlap, even reinforce each other: not in vain a large percentage of patients taken care of by psychologists present an anxious-depressive picture. . Usually, emotional distress calls for other forms of emotional distress, so if a person is uncomfortable with their life and feels sad, they will sooner or later notice that their daily life is overwhelming and the pain is overwhelming. anxiety arises.

    2. The perception of end of cycle and temporary bottleneck

    Christmas is not experienced as an event disconnected from everything that surrounds it and, in this sense, it should be remembered that for many people, goes hand in hand with the concept of “New Year’s Eve”: There are only a few days of difference between one celebration and another.

    This is why many people understand that Christmas is the end of a life cycle and are urged to take stock of this period, the last 12 months. Under these circumstances, it’s easy to bring up uncomfortable thoughts, feelings of guilt, and even self-esteem issues because you weren’t able to do everything you wanted to.

    This leads some people to try to do as much as possible in the days and weeks before Christmas, With the resulting psychological wear and tear. Moreover, if they manage to achieve certain goals during this period, they do not experience it as success but rather as success such as avoiding unpleasant feeling.

      3. The buying pressure and the need for fair accountability

      Christmas is also a moment linked to its facet of consumption phenomenon. On the one hand, there is the pressure to buy gifts, to spend money on fancy dinners or even to travel; on the other, the need not to have financial problems. It is not easy to find a balance in the face of this, which makes us more vulnerable to anxiety issues.

      4. Family tensions are rekindled

      Not everyone has a family free from tension and conflict. Therefore, family reunions can become a source of anxiety; although discussions do not break out, the fear that they may occur may be there.

      Want to learn how to better manage your anxiety?

      If you are interested in applying the most effective anxiety management principles to your daily life, this might be of interest to you. the online course “Anxiety Management”, Made by me. My name is Miguel Ángel Rizaldos, I am a psychologist specializing in the clinical field and I have more than 25 years of professional experience in the care of patients.

      In this course, I teach the most important theoretical and practical principles to learn how to adopt a healthy relationship with anxiety, without obsessing over eliminating it completely or nurturing it unconsciously. You will find more information on my site

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association -APA- (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Madrid: Panamericana.
      • Kasper, S .; Boer, JA and Sitsen, JMA (2003). Handbook of Depression and Anxiety. New York: M. Dekker.
      • Packard, MG (2009). Anxiety, Cognition, and Habit: A Perspective from Multiple Memory Systems. Brain research. Elsevier.
      • Phillips, AC; Carroll, D .; Der, G. (2015). Negative life events and symptoms of depression and anxiety: causing stress and / or generating stress. Anxiety, stress and adaptation. 28 (4): pages 357 to 371.
      • Rynn, MA; Brawman-Mintzer, O. (2004). Generalized anxiety disorder: acute and chronic treatment. CNS spectra. 9 (10): pages 716-723.

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