Managing stress and anxiety at Christmas 2020 and New Year

It has been a very peculiar and challenging year for our Logical Minds!

COVID-19 has caused many of us negative change and added stress to our lives. When we are under stress the Logical Mind goes into “catastrophic thinking mode” and begins to seek out the “worst-case scenario” in order to prepare us/have a contingency plan for the future.

This pandemic has thrown the world into economic uncertainty and caused stress levels to rise by at least 20%. Most of us are feeling controlled and a little trapped as our family life/daily work routines are disrupted and taken over by new rules and ever-increasing Government regulations.  Many of us have become frustrated, resentful and more irritable than usual as the unfairness of the COVID-19 situation continues and permeates through our lives.

Then along comes Christmas with its’ usual pressures on family dynamics and income, increased by uncertainty, restrictions, rules and regulations.

So, how do we manage to have a peaceful Christmas?

My SAFE Model gives the Logical Mind a simple way of analysing what we feel and why.

By splitting all our feelings, emotions and behaviours into the 4 moods of SADNESS, ANGER, FEAR & ENJOYMENT and staying in present moment it becomes possible to gain some control over our Catastrophic Thinking.

Our Logical Mind sees the world emotionally as happy or sad and is always trying to work out what we are feeling and why. Enjoyment is a Logical Mind Concept. In order to enjoy life, we have to do something; have a good job; go on holiday; buy expensive Christmas gifts, food, decorations, etc.  If we cannot do something, then the Logical Mind thinks we are SAD.

However, our Emotional Mind sees the world as PEACE or FEAR. Our Emotional Mind is in effect our “Chimp Brain” and is not affected by thought, reasoning or doing. An animal is automatically at peace in this world until it becomes under threat in the present moment. Animals are unaware of COVID-19 and it causes them no stress at all in their present moment!

If one lives in the western world, then 99% of the time one is not under any actual threat in present moment. It’s just that our Logical Mind is either in the future catastrophising or in the past analysing. In a SAD Mood we end up believing these negative thoughts.

So, if we use a mindfulness concept that in present moment: “THOUGHTS ARE NOT FACTS” we learn that it is possible to become at peace in our Logical Mind and still these thoughts.

Achieve peace with Apollo Counselling

This blog only gives a very brief summary of my SAFE Model and I have not had the space to expand on the hidden angers and hidden fear feelings that make up stress.  However, there is a lot more information on my website.

I would urge everyone to fill out the free SAFE Questionnaire to determine your Mood Score.

There is a lot of information about stress and the behavioural changes required to manage it.

The Wise Mind Triangle is particularly useful in its’ explanation of why mindfulness is so important to adopt into a daily routine. It is absolutely the keystone into bringing the Logical Mind into the present moment which is the only place where it can be at peace.

If you want an in-depth explanation, then my video gives a full explanation of how to manage stress and some of the other behavioural changes that lead to a more peaceful way of being.

I hope you will find this blog and the information on my website useful.

Find out more about my self-help video. Or, watch my introduction to counselling.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very peaceful Christmas filled with love.


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