Rushville Republican

December 4, 2012

Mauzy: Reasons to remove stress from the holidays

Jean Mauzy
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — Stress is more than being submerged in some type of deep emotional conflict. Simply being too busy with life happenings can result in the same type of inner chaos as high stress turmoil. Being inner-focused in our personal doings allows us to pile our plates to full without sometimes realizing what is spilling out over the edges. The peripheral vision diminishes.

From personal experience, I can tell you that the world can pass you by when you are overly emerged in personal endeavors. It’s easy to become oblivious to what people around you are doing when you forget to look up and look out. In short, a busy life takes away from things that likely matter the most to you. Assuming those things will always be there until one day, if you stay too busy, you will realize that those “things” have either passed by or changed dramatically. When that realization hits, it’s often a sad affair.

The topic of stress or being overly absorbed in personal matters always seems relevant to address this time of year. The holiday season seems to have a way to make a person reflect. Our awareness to things we are thankful for and also being reminded of those who may be doing without are two of the most emotional aspects that highlight the season. How do we put it all into perspective?

Some people may think that the holiday season creates more stress in our lives because we are busy planning events, shopping for gift items, and so on. The holidays are not really responsible for that stress though, we, as individuals, make the decision on how we will react. Taking responsibility for our actions and reactions will be the only thing that helps to de-stress the upcoming weeks.

A simplistic approach to address that which is most negative this season can help to lift burdens that weigh us down. Addressing an interpersonal conflict can help clear the air and make way for mending a broken or strained relationship. Removing gallant expectations on our abilities to please everyone with the finest of gifts can make our shopping excursions more pleasant. Likewise, understanding that love and admiration will never be found in a material items purchased in a store allows a person to realize what it is that matters most in his or her life.

Spending time with people you love and doing things together are what strong relationships are based upon. Offering the highest price gift might be pleasing for the moment, and even bring on expressions of deep gratitude, but the memories of that one gift-giving moment cannot possibly outshine the memory of traditions where from year to year, an activity is enjoyed and thus remembered for always. The tradition doesn’t need to be anything grand or elaborate, decorating a tree or baking cookies will suffice.

The things that make us feel the best are not the things we receive, but those things we give away. Comforting people who are lonely or ill, offering assistance to someone less fortunate, or taking part in mending a strained relationship are all wonderful ways to give away something from yourself. The value of return will be to know that you helped to remove some stress from someone else’s life and that feeling should help to counteract some of your own.

Take a break from your busy life. Look up and look around to make sure you still recognize those things most important to you. There’s nothing like the holidays to bring it all back into focus. Enjoy life in the here and now.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy and peaceful holiday. Have fun and leave the stress behind.