The holidays, and truly most of the year, can be loaded guns for our emotions and wellbeing. In this Q&A, I had the opportunity to speak with Best Self Co-Founder Bill Miles. What follows is an excerpt of our conversation.
Bill Miles: Hi Dain, thank you for talking with us. To start, can you please tell us a little about your own personal connection to the emotional struggles that people experience around the holidays? Perhaps what you experienced or witnessed that led you to explore this more deeply in your work?
Dain Heer: Most of us have the idea that the holidays are ‘supposed’ to be happy. We have expectations of harmonious family gatherings, extravagant presents and peace and joy for all. But for many people, these expectations are far from reality. What I have found is that if you start shifting your own perspectives and your own expectations, you can find your happy regardless of the world around you. I have found some really simple and pragmatic tools that create dynamic change. If you use them, you’ll be able to have that sense of joy that the holidays are supposed to be all about.
Bill Miles: What is the biggest myth (or myths) surrounding the holidays that can then trigger destructive issues such as stress, depression and/or isolation?
Dain Heer: The myth is that all the stress, depression and all of it is being generated from you. Actually, this isn’t true. The majority of the stuff that goes on in your head isn’t yours.
All of the thoughts, the feelings, the insecurities, the unhappiness — are not actually yours. What we’ve found is that 98% of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions don’t belong to you. For example, when you think you’re not doing or being enough or the sense that you’re wrong, the majority of that isn’t yours. What happens is, when you’re around a lot of people, especially people you’re close to, you pick it up dynamically. Take notice when you start losing that sense of self, that sense of you and use the tools below to find you again.
Bill Miles: Can you offer suggestions or strategies to help people avoid falling prey to these triggers?
Tip #2 – Don’t buy into other people’s drama.
How much do you allow other people’s lives to get intertwined in yours? 98% of your thoughts, feelings and emotions are not your own; you are picking them up from the people around you. Ask yourself “Who does this belong to?” to help you determine the thoughts and feelings that are actually yours.
Tip #3 – It’s ok to be different.
There is a lot of pressure at holiday time to get along with family members and other individuals; but instead of conforming to appease people, it is better to acknowledge and celebrate what is different about you. What if your difference is the greatness of you? The thing that can make valuable change in the world? Embrace your difference and ask yourself, “What is different about me that is wonderful about me?” Celebrate that.
Tip #4 – Make a list of everything you are thankful for in the year.
Why wait? Gratitude is one of the greatest creators of happiness there is. And when you focus on what you are grateful for, more of what you are grateful for has a way of showing up.
What if this time of year and throughout the rest of the year, you start implementing some of these tools? What would be possible then? And how much more fun, ease, joy and happy would be possible then?
P.S. For the full article in Best Self, please visit here.
P.S.S. I’m also super happy to announce, I just launched a new audio series (available via app) that’s filled with mini classes/tools that you can take anywhere called “You Got This!” For more information, I’d love to invite you to this page. What else is possible now?!