6 Tips to Handle Stress During Family Gatherings

family-parkFamilies kick of the month of July by celebrating Independence Day with cookouts and these cookouts and gatherings happen almost every weekend.  July is also a popular month for family reunions, weddings and homecomings.  Family gatherings are stressful times for some of us, but they do not have to be.  Here are my six tips to help you handle stress during family gatherings.

1.  Relax in the Moment

A family gathering is no place for stress, but sometimes the thought of seeing family members causes stress. 

Do not let worry, nervousness and being uncomfortable enter your world.  Delete worry and nervousness from your mind and think about relaxing in the moment. 

When the mind, body and spirit are relaxed, there is no room for high levels of stress to exist.  Relaxation actually decreases stress.  Focus on being cool, calm and collected.

2.  Smile in the Moment

Smiling makes everything better.  If you are nervous, smiling helps you feel at ease.  If you feel awkward, smiling helps you feel less awkward. 

Smiling makes a tense situation bearable.  When you smile, you forget about how you feel and start feeling good. 

A smile is contagious and when you smile others automatically smile. Smile in the moment, it helps decrease your stress level.

3.  Breathe in the Moment

The thought of attending family gatherings cause many emotions to arise.  Slow down your breathing when the emotions rise up in you.  Because slow, deep breathing helps lower your stress level.

You can do slow breathing anytime you feel stressed.  Consider it your little trick for bringing calmness into your mind, body and spirit. 

4.  Be Positive in the Moment

Negative thinking increases your stress level.  

Positive thinking  and positive actions make you feel good.  It eases your worries and concerns.  You forget about the negative when you focus on the positive.

5.  Be Goofy in the Moment

Yes, I said be goofy (dance/let go/have fun).  Be willing to let loose and shake a leg.  Music is always the main attraction at family gatherings, I know you have a relative who loves to turn it up and have a good time.  Instead of watching the fun, take part in the fun and decrease your stress level.

6.  Communicate in the Moment

If you do not want to be in a certain place, you will find yourself observing others a lot and talking less. Staying quiet can seem cold to others.  Communication is a two-way street.  One person talks while, the other person listens; be engaged.  Communicating in the moment warms you up and helps melt away the stressful feelings you have.

Final Words

Family gatherings should be the most relaxing event that you attend, but for some of us, family gatherings are stressful and dreaded events.

The next time you have a family gathering, decide that you will have a good time. Give yourself a pep talk before attending and repeat these words, “Relax, smile, breathe, positive, goofy, and communicate. 

Relaxing, smiling, breathing, being positive, goofy, and communicating helps you handle stress better and overall you feel good.

Have a great 4th of July and enjoy the family gatherings!

Image courtesy of Photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

4 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Hi Evelyn

    What a joy to be here again after a long time. Very good tips to follow.
    Well written one.
    Thanks for sharing
    Have a good day.
    ~Phil

  2. Lots of good suggestions here. Fortunately I enjoy seeing my sibbies, rellies, family, crazy as they are. Or maybe that’s why I enjoy them. Except that one person….. ha haa ah

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