However united a family may be, when several family units come together for a celebration such as Christmas, conflicts and tensions may arise. Sometimes small family units (father, mother and children) have customs that differ from those of older or traditional family units (grandparents, uncles, etc.), which can lead to conflicts in some aspects of the celebration.
On the other hand, there are always conversation topics in which we do not have similar points of view and that, almost inevitably, end up being able to alter the environment. Therefore, this year, if we know that there are certain specific topics, or certain family members whose opinions or behavior will annoy us, we can try to perform some of the following relaxation techniques. In this way we may get to enjoy the party without anger or conflict.
This type of technique is one of the most discreet, especially if we need to carry it out in front of many people. Knowing how to breathe properly can help us send a signal of relaxation to our entire body and our brain that will prevent us from becoming upset or stressed.
One of the breathing techniques most used at the time of relaxation is that of diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing. It is about trying to take all the air to the lower area of the lungs and then release it slowly. This technique should not be done by forcing the breath, but in a relaxed way. In this way we will be able to activate the parasympathetic system by sending a relaxation signal.
This relaxation technique is also very simple and can be done at any time without requiring too much time. In fact, it is designed to be done several times a day. The idea is that we choose some object (or several) from our usual environment and every time we see it, we make three deep breaths trying to focus on how the muscles relax.
Ideally, we practice this technique several times until we are able to do it by focusing all our attention on those breaths and the muscle relaxation that they generate. In this way, if during dinner or meal we notice that we are getting nervous or angry, we can look at the chosen object and perform the breaths . Another option is, if we do not have in view the chosen object, imagine some image or relaxing place.
The relaxation technique of Jacobson requires a little more time and a certain practice, but it is one of the most used and effective techniques that we can find. The idea behind this technique is to relax our muscle groups progressively .
The first times we carry out this technique we should sit down or lie down in a place where we are comfortable. Little by little we must tense and relax the different muscle groups : feet, legs, arms, hands, etc. There are numerous videos that we can use to guide us the first times we do it.
Once we have the controlled technique we will be able to relax without having to do the whole journey and without needing so much time. Therefore, if we want to use it at Christmas, it is best that we start as soon as possible to put it into practice.
In this case, as in Jacobson’s relaxation, we need previous practice to be able to use it quickly and easily in new contexts. The basic idea is that we imagine a place that is relaxing for us in a very detailed way and we go through it mentally, observing every detail and feeling physically that we are there.
For this, the first times it is advisable that we sit down or lie down comfortably and first perform some series of diaphragmatic breathing. When we are already a little relaxed, we will begin to imagine a place that is relaxing for us and we will do it in the most vivid way we can while we continue to breathe.
Little by little we will imagine that we walk by the place and we will focus on the objects that are there, on how they smell or the block they have on our fingers. After a few minutes we can gradually fade the image and focus on our breathing. With time and practice, we will be able to relax in any circumstance just by imagining the relaxing place, which can be very useful in certain situations during our Christmas holidays.
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