Mindfulness Tips For This Holiday Season

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Not feeling so hot this time of year? You’re not alone. Many find that the holidays bring as much stress as they do joy. But there are ways to ease through the season.

Mindfulness is a way to be open and aware of what is happening in the moment—being present both internally and externally. Mindfulness has been shown to improve relationship satisfaction, reduce stress in relationships, and increase empathy. Mindful practices can also help reduce internal stress and anxiety.

While mindfulness can be a formal meditation practice, there are also informal ways to practice this skill. This can give us perspective and decrease stress.

Here are a few suggestions for staying merry and mindful.

Unplug

Find time throughout your day to unplug from your phone and tune into the people around you and yourself. Holiday stress can often be born out of having certain expectations and desires. Taking time away from technology can allow us the space to reconnect with our loved ones around us, and take the time to listen to our true desires.

Eat Mindfully

This might sound strange, but mindfulness extends to different aspects. Practice this next time you eat: chew slowly, be mindful of what you’re eating, savor it and smile. You’ll be amazed at how much you notice every flavor, seasoning and texture you eat, and you may even enjoy your food that much more.

Be Open To Yours And Others’ Emotions

By being attentive and receptive to the people around you, you can increase your ability to connect. Observe how people are feeling during the holidays, and be open to communication of those feelings. Don’t forget to do the same thing for yourself! For many, the holidays can be reminders of loss, grief, or loneliness. You might experience these difficult feelings, so allow yourself to make space and acknowledge whatever emotions come up for you rather than try to get rid of them.

Do Something For Yourself

Do something that makes you happy or relaxed before and after an event that you’re worried about. This is especially helpful for those who are more introverted and are overwhelmed with all the socializing this time of year. It will help you rebalance. Bell says even a short 10-minute walk or meditation can help you build up the energy before or after having to be “on” for others.

Practice Gratitude

Whatever is happening in your world, practicing gratitude each morning and remembering that you have so much to be grateful for, can really help set a positive mood and a positive attitude for the day ahead. Gratitude also helps us to stay more present in the moment, not seeking something different to feel fulfilled.

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