God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay...
No one knows who wrote these lyrics but it is believed that they originated in the sixteenth century when bands travelled around London singing in taverns. The first publication was in 1833 and since then, people in different countries have adopted this carol as part of their traditional celebrations at Christmastime.
The word "dismay" is not one that we usually use in everyday conversation. It means "distress". There are more contemporary ways of stating "Let nothing you dismay". One day, for example, when I was in a bit of a panic at work trying to get everything done, my son said "Chillax". At first I was puzzled as I had never heard this word before. Once I thought about it though and realized that it is a combination of the words "chill" and "relax" I laughed.
People need to chillax more often. Those who focus on the past and worry about all the things that they cannot change, set themselves up for depression. On the other hand, individuals who are concerned about the future and waste both time and effort trying to predict what hasn't even happened yet are vulnerable for an anxiety disorder.
The best way to stay peaceful and calm is to practice living in the moment. Each day focus on doing things that will promote self-care and well-being. Take action and do things rather than staring at the wall while chaos piles up around you. Ensure that your environment is clean, organized and positive. Bring out all the special items that you have been saving for company and enjoy them! Chillax!
If you have issues and feel "stuck", find someone who has a record of successfully resolving similar problems. Do some research so that you will gain understanding and know the options that are available for you to consider.
The first line of this carol gives us a good hint about how to handle life better. It suggests that gentlemen (and gentlewomen of course) should rest. The ability to think clearly and enjoy a good mood are improved when we get enough sleep. I was going to suggest that you turn off the television and head to bed a little earlier. But then I thought about the fact that there weren't televisions in the sixteen hundreds. Funny to think that the tavern singers were trying to encourage those who were drinking and dismaying to go home and get some sleep!
It really doesn't matter which century in which a human is born. There always have been and always will be temptations that can interfere with healthy living. But getting enough rest and not allowing distress to rule our lives will bring us the rewards offered in the final line of this carol: Tidings of comfort and joy!
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From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker