No hard and fast rule exists stating you must enjoy the holiday season 150 percent.

Yet, that’s the message society, the media, many co-workers, and/or extended family members may be sending you.

The issue just may be that you don’t enjoy the holidays. For one reason or another, this time of year has proven to be incredibly difficult.

That’s perfectly okay. Take heart in knowing that there is a solution. And it’s not simply “surviving” another holiday season!

Consider Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help you prepare for this difficult time. Helping you cope and manage your emotions, this therapeutic method can be an enormous benefit to safeguard your mental health.

Here’s how.

Understand the Problem

For many, the holiday season is a time when old wounds can be poked and prodded.

Are you triggered by revisiting a complicated family history? Being around family, you may feel your wounds are reactivated to the point where you experience a mental “time warp” of sorts, back into a painful past.

Moreover, the holidays can serve, too, as a huge reminder of your current situation. This season acts as a milestone, promoting a comprehensive thought process. Looking back over the year, you may feel disappointed about where you are today.

Or, it may be that the holiday season is difficult in other ways, negatively impacting your emotions, finances, career schedule, etc.

Finally, it’s not uncommon to face overwhelming guilt when you don’t enjoy the holidays, which only adds to the initial problem.

Yet, there is a proven and lasting solution.

EMDR Can Address the Emotional Blockage

No matter why the holiday season is a difficult time for you, one common theme exists. The feeling of being “stuck.”

For many reasons, you may feel stuck going to a holiday event you’d rather not attend. Buying gifts or preparing special meals, you may feel stuck in domestic or financial obligations. Facing the short, cold days of winter, you may feel geographically stuck in a gloomy or unhappy place.

Evidence suggests that EMDR can reach your particular emotional blockage, helping to push negative emotions aside. Thus, empowering you to overcome the onslaught of unhelpful reactions, moodiness, and anxiety.

Going beyond the impact of traditional talk therapy, EMDR can pinpoint what’s causing your unhappiness, and address it with less upsetting re-experiencing and more re-framing and resolution.
Think of EMDR as moving a fallen tree that’s been damning a river. When the emotional blockage is removed, you are free to control more of your own thoughts, responses, and ultimate happiness.

It Makes Painful Memories Less Impactful

As mentioned before, the holidays have a way of promoting comprehensive thinking. Meaning, your thoughts may revolve around all that’s happened during the past year.

Unsurprisingly, that often leads to thinking about your life as a whole. Situations that didn’t work out, broken relationships, lost career opportunities, and more negativity can quickly engulf your mind.
So much of the time, these memories—along with the pain that accompanies them—don’t feel far enough away. In other words, it can hurt today as much as it did years ago.

However, EMDR is well-known for decreasing the emotional impact these memories have.

EMDR doesn’t erase the memory, as some people believe. Rather, this method retrains your brain to respond differently to a particular memory.

For example, some memories can induce anxiety. Increased heart rate, shallow breathing, and shaking are a few common symptoms. Yet, EMDR can empower you to respond to the same memories calmly.

Take the first step…

If you’re ready to consider EMDR therapy to help you cope with unhappy holidays, I would like to help. I have been a Certified EMDR Therapist since 2004, and I have helped hundreds of clients benefit from this incredibly useful methodology.

Please get in touch with me via voicemail or email so we can discuss how we might work together to change your life for the better as quickly and effectively as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Linda K. Laffey, MFT

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