My Gifts VS Your Gifts = Major Judgement Anxiety

Just as we’re thinking this might be the best holiday yet, we scroll through our social media feeds and within minutes our positive and happy mindset comes to a screeching halt. As we scroll through social media, it’s easy to have thoughts such as, “Maybe I’ll just take a break from posting this year.” Or, “Insta doesn’t have a filter that can make my gifts look like hers.”

The holidays can tend to bring out the “judgement anxiety,” aka “JA” in us and that pesky little voice inside our heads gives us full permission to judge our own lives in comparison to others. Feel free to admit you have this dreaded issue because believe it or not, we’ve all had it at one time or another. It’s time to rid ourselves of “JA” for good. I’ve got the cure so keep reading. You’ll thank me later, I promise!

SYMPTOM CHECK:

1. Feeling jealous as you scroll through Insta, seeing friends and acquaintances who post top brands you wish you received.

2. Feeling like you’ve come up short. Your gift haul isn’t near what everyone else received.

3. You find yourself wondering why you didn’t get everything you asked for.

If you have ever felt any of the above symptoms you might be affected by “JA”. I promised the cure, so read on and feel free to use this prescribed regimen to effectively rid yourself of “JA”. Be sure to share the cure so we can all have a future of scrolling through social media with a happy and healthy mindset.

TREATMENT:

Prescription Notes: Apply daily until the symptoms of “JA” disappear.

Side Effects: You might feel a sudden rush of happiness while scrolling through social media feeds. Some may also feel the urge to comment positively on their friend’s accounts. Beware: These side effects may linger for long periods of time but contain no harmful karma, only the good stuff.

Now, it’s time to dig deep and take a closer look at what validates us. It’s really not the fact that your BFF received the newest Apple Watch or iPhone and you didn’t, it’s the mindset that allows us to compare ourselves to our peers, especially when we equate love with gifts during the holidays. As the holiday season winds down, we all forget who received what and how much it cost so it makes perfect sense that we ask ourselves, “What’s all the fuss about?” It was the visual OMG moment on Insta when “JA” took over and altered how we view our self-worth. We let the anxiety of judgement cloud what really matters and furthermore, it’s not great for our mental psyche.

Whatever your situation, everyone feels some effects of “JA”. I promised you the cure, so let’s get right to it.

1. Put “things” in perspective. Your clothing, cell phone, laptop, vehicle, makeup brand or the size of your home never affects the most important virtues that validate who you are. Being a good friend, making good grades, being kind, excelling in hobbies, and believe it or not, your happiness, have nothing to do with material things. Developing a less materialistic mindset isn’t easy, but when we allow ourselves to take a hot second and reflect on the things that truly affect us, that LV handbag we wished we had begins to seem less important. Ask yourself this question: If I received a Louis Vuitton handbag as a holiday gift, will it really change my life or will it just make me seem wealthy, lucky, popular and for how long? 1 day, 1 week. Will it alter my ability to go to college, ace an exam, or win the next soccer game? NO, it won’t do any of those things and the shelf life on material items tend to come up short. Think about that perspective and auto tune the adjustment of your mindset asap.

2. Your family’s economic situation is out of your control. Blaming your parents for their inability to purchase you a new car or the best of anything is a bit over the top irrational. Your frustration of not being able to keep up with your peers is understandable, BUT also understand that all families don’t necessarily view gift giving in the same way. Place more focus on the sacrifices your parents make in order to purchase some of your favorite things. Parents understand the economic impact the holidays can bring and they also have great insight as to how their dollars measure up in comparison to your peer’s parents. The worst thing you can do is react disappointed during the holidays. Instead, try a huge dose of thankfulness. You’re luckier than you think and in more ways than you can imagine!

3. In order to avoid your thoughts going awry while scrolling through your social media feed, try this brilliant hack. Moving forward when you post on social media, place focus on family, love, friends, and being thankful. Materialistic posts are not allowed! Make it a point each day to comment on your friend’s posts. The comments must be kind, thankful, inclusive and have nothing to do with material items. The right communication allows us to inspire others to reflect on how we treat each other and the importance of friendship over the items we possess. Comments like “Love you girl, so thankful you’re always here for me.” “Good times with you are simply the best”, etc… are more valuable than any monetary item we receive.

4. Immerse yourself in quality family time. Bake and decorate cookies with your Mom and siblings. Play games, get outdoors, and enjoy a long walk. In other words, focus on love and family. Your social media feed can wait; trust me on this. When we place focus on those who support and love us, we are fueled with a new outlook that allows us to truly see the dividing line between the holidays and material things.

During the holidays, it’s mind blowing how much focus we place on the gifts we receive, when in reality, the material gifts never compare to the memories we create and the love of family and friends. It’s the gifts we feel but can’t see that shape who we are. It’s up to you, so it’s time to ditch the symptoms, empower each other and cure “JA” once and for all.

It’s my gift to you!

Lauren

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