The British Association of Anger Management has declared December to be Anger Awareness Month. Their goal is to help people enjoy the holidays without all of the stress and anger. From their website:
Many of us suffer from anger during the holidays when expectations are high. There are many demands on our time, energy and resources. These challenges don’t have to mean the end to an enjoyable holiday!
One Source of Holiday Stress
See if you set unrealistic expectations on yourself. Make a list of all the things you are “supposed to” or “have to” do. Do you feel pressured to buy gifts, make homemade food and goodies, or attend get-togethers to please family, friends or co-workers? If so, you may have a limiting belief such as:
What makes me good enough is having others think well of me
Do you ever worry that your gifts and actions won’t be “good enough”? Here is another common people-pleasing belief:
What I do isn’t good enough
Why I Won’t Tell You to Set More Realistic Expectations
Most self-help guides this time of year will tell you to set more realistic expectations. You already know that you worry too much about whether others will like your gifts but you try too hard anyway. If you try to follow their advice and force yourself not to go overboard, you feel guilty about not doing more.
It doesn’t work to simply tell yourself to do the right thing. Your conscious mind can’t match the power of your unconscious mind.
There is only one way to finally rid yourself of those nagging thoughts, doubts and fears that cause your stress and the resulting anger. You must heal the unhealthy beliefs, such as the two I listed above, held in your unconscious mind.
See my new book, Ending Anger: The Couple’s Guide, to learn more about finding your unhealthy beliefs and how to permanently heal from anger.