4 Questions to Reduce Holiday Anxiety

December 2021

We all love the holidays. Well, that’s not entirely true. The common narrative is that we are supposed to love the holidays and everything that comes with them: family gatherings, celebrations, twinkly lights, good food.

The truth is that the holiday season can be a time of increased anxiety for many people. Reasons for this can be complex, even for those with overall positive anticipation about gift giving, friendly gatherings, and a societal focus on generosity.

If you’ve ever faced the prospect of a holiday dinner or party with a knot in your stomach or a jittery feeling, it’s quite common. This might have to do with past experiences, tense relationships, or your own sensitivities that make these situations and the general pressure to be jolly difficult.

In any case, it is possible to gain relief with a few moments of quiet introspection. “Mindfulness” is a popular term, but sometimes it can remain abstract and therefore not useful when our heart is beating faster and we’re feeling dread about an upcoming gathering.

In this article, the author suggests four questions based in cognitive behavioral therapy that can help stop the frantic spiral of anxious thoughts and feelings. She writes:

“Cognitive behavioral therapy is a technique that works from the premise that thoughts affect feelings, which affect behaviors, which affect thoughts, and so on. It’s very challenging to change your feelings, but you can work with your thoughts and behaviors. When I see myself beginning to spiral, I can ask myself the following questions.

What thought is contributing to this feeling?

What evidence do I have that this thought is true?

What else could be going on?

What evidence do I have for those alternatives?

When I see myself internally reacting as if my worst fear is already happening, these questions can help me pause my nightmare fantasy and remember that other interpretations are also valid. I can hold the different possibilities and wait to react until I have more information. I can know that it’s okay to not know.”

As we enter this season of expectations and increased connection – that can also generate increased social anxiety – I offer this simple set of four questions as a tool for self-inquiry that can boost your sense of inner control and confidence. Often, just asking these questions and taking the time to answer them can help dramatically.

I hope that this year finds you feeling safe, loved, and connected to those who matter to you.

Please drop me an email or call if you have any questions – or someone you know is in need of expert advice. I love to help those you care about. If you have a referral please click the button down below. Your referrals are the heart and lifeblood of my business.



Omar Khamisa
Mission San Jose Mortgage
2111 W. March Lane, Suite B100
Stockton, CA 95207
Office: 209-651-2000
Mobile: 510-648-5535
Fax: 209-434-2311
NMLS: 369325


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