The Miracle of Meditation
Another great way to alleviate holiday stress is to meditate. According to Psychology Today, "meditation is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra."
Meditation and mindfulness are interconnected. In the simplest terms, mindfulness means being fully present, and meditation is making the conscious effort to get there.
The easiest way to start a meditation practice involves concentrating on your breath. Set your timer on your phone and just breathe. When thoughts pop into your mind, simply notice them non-judgmentally, and go back to concentrating on your breath. Even 1 minute of breathing meditation can do wonders for your stress level.
Or, you can try a body scan. Sit quietly and focus your concentration on each area of your body, starting with the top of your head . If you feel tension, notice and acknowledge it, then move on to the next part of your body, until you reach your toes.
Or, try this candle meditation:
Sit comfortably and stare into the flame of a candle for 30 seconds to one minute.
Then, close your eyes and reflect on the light for about 3 – 5 minutes.
If you lose concentration, open your eyes and look at the candle again to get back in the zone.
You can do this with the flame in your fireplace as well.
Many successful people have made meditation a part of their daily routine. As a result, there are great apps and websites that can help you get started. If you're curious, check out: Calm, Insight Timer or HeadSpace. Or, you can check out mantra-based meditation provided by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. They often run free meditation experiences.
Next time you are waiting in line or feeling tense about all of the things on your holiday to-do list, take a minute to meditate. You'll feel a greater sense of calm and it will lead to more mindful moments.
I encourage you to give the miracle of meditation a try.
Wishing you all the best for a peaceful holiday season!