Stress Less This Holiday Season
Stress is a feeling most everyone encounters. While it may sometimes serve as a helpful purpose, pushing us beyond preconceived physical and mental boundaries; it is most commonly associated with negative factors.
Causes such as uncertainty, pressure or unhappiness with work and other elements of life such as money, family, or a loved one and now the holiday season in a pandemic. If such stress can’t be managed properly and persists on a long-term basis, it can lead to more serious health concerns such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, dementia, and many more.
Uncertainty is an area in life we all need to learn to manage, pushing us out of our comfort zone as it allows you to grow in areas you may not have recognized. The truth is we need uncertainty in our lives it keeps us building at our highest potential. Anticipating our next move and leveraging the wins we have in our life to build the confidence for us to move forward. When you are focused on stress, the body is too busy dealing with fight or flight mode its not providing the energy necessary for you to focus and move forward, working through the stress.
Despite all the challenges surrounding us in the pandemic, we are now facing the holiday season unable to have the large celebrations we had in the past or able to have the love and connection with our friends and family that we desire. Make this your best holiday ever.
Connect and give the best way you can and be together during the holiday. Even if virtually. Just like the business' that quickly had to pivot this year. Pivot your holiday. Just this year.
Be creative and decide on the kind of quality holiday you will have and not anticipate the stress that generally arrives with the holidays. Accept this holiday as being different. Knowing the time we are in is temporary.
What are the holidays about to you? Reconnect to what you are truly grateful for.
Welcome to our stress less meditation session.
Decrease stress and increase your peace and inner feeling of gratitude through the holiday.
If your mind wanders while you listen that is ok just bring your mind back to the present moment.
Lower stress and anxiety this holiday season.
Take a moment to be sure you are in a private place that you can sit or lie down and can become centered. Close your eyes.
For the moment notice the surface underneath you. The cushion or surface that you are lying on.
Melt into the surface and recognize this is the time to relax.
Notice any tightness in your jaw or eyes, are they clenched or tight, release.
Take a deep breath through your nose and hold it for 5 seconds. Relax a bit. Release. Then, take another deep breath and hold for 5 seconds taking 5 seconds to release.
Are your neck and shoulders feeling stressed. Release the tension.
Hands clenched. Unclench your hands.
Notice your breathing. Is it calm or fast? Take another deep breath through the nose hold for 5 seconds then release for 5 seconds.
Notice your legs and feet are they resting?
If thoughts arrive just notice them and bring yourself back to this moment.
Notice any sounds around you close or far away or even the silence heard between the sounds.
Release the stress as it will increase the anxiety.
Is your mind busy or is it taking in the moment, thoughts, pictures or complete calm/quietness. Bring your mind back to the moment.
If the thoughts that come to your mind are stressful realize it is a thought and you have all the control at any moment to change your mindset to a positive one.
Notice the sounds that surround you are real.
Notice your breath.
Notice your heart. Hold your hands on your heart, breathing into your heart and be thankful it is beating with you at this moment.
Notice what is alive and around you at the present moment.
Notice the thoughts that are causing you the stress and realize what is not real, what you have control of, and what you do not have control of and bring yourself back to the present moment.
In the moment when you bring yourself to this present moment you are safe.
If you are sitting here listening or reading this, you are safe. Regardless to what is around you. Take the moment to appreciate the many things you have to be full of gratitude for.
Take a moment for a little scan of your body. Are you aware of feelings or sensations in your body? There might be tightness or tension. This can often be labeled as anxiety or fear. Scan through and see what sensations are inside of you and where these areas of tension are being felt. Begin to separate yourself from that sensation. The sensation in your body and where you notice it in your mind.
Find yourself on your own island feeling the breeze and notice the sensations.
Think of something you love, maybe it is a favorite place, a favorite person, an animal, notice as you think of this place where you feel it inside. Maybe you are remembering a past holiday that was one of your favorites. Feel the love and emotions that surrounds you. When you think of the things you love in life where do you feel it. Notice the feelings inside and let the feeling be bigger. Bring the intenseness to a 10. Increase the feelings of love, notice it is bigger and bigger and bigger and spreading out even more. Imagine washing your body with all these sensations in the water off the island to let this feeling of love spread out until you are completely filled and covered with it.
Now with these feelings of love covering you like the sea what are you focused on?
What are your beliefs?
What are you saying to yourself internally?
Are you calm or excited?
Now open your eyes feeling appreciation and gratitude knowing at any time you can return to this practice understanding this holiday may be different but nonetheless the time is temporary and we have the opportunity at any given moment to change our perspective and accept the things we have control of leaving the items we have no control of behind. Anticipating the uncertainty to make the greatest impact for our future.
Now is there someone you have been thinking of lately, contact them, let them know how important they are in your life and how much they are loved. Let your feelings of gratitude flow helping those that you love and care for to those that can benefit from you this holiday. It is often said the more you give the more you live. These feelings of calm and gratitude will increase each time you complete this practice.
It is important for us all to practice gratitude each day not just in the holiday season. Gratitude allows us to show our appreciation. When I completed this practice I returned to a memory on Christmas Eve over two and a half decades ago when the whole family was together for the holiday and my grandmother was alive, the laughter, love and appreciation that took place at that given moment was one I will always remember and cherish. My grandmother would always arrive to each holiday with a gift in hand for everyone, she was naturally always there. Since this time so much has changed in life. As we enter the anniversary of her passing I am reminded as I write this of the Nantucket basket circa 1950 charm that she left me and the red nail polish that I painted her nails each week before she passed away. Remembering the anniversary of her passing is just a few days after Thanksgiving. I am eternally grateful for the time I had her a part of my life. Grateful for the many things life has provided me, my children, my husband, my dogs, home to the individuals that touch my life so graciously, to the little things in life that I encounter, appreciating each and every one knowing how fortunate I am for what I truly have in this world as each day is a gift, life is short, time if fast, make the best of every day.
Step up in your life living from a place of gratitude and others will do the same. Appreciating your efforts for what you have become and what you will be.
Everything we learn takes practice so the more you practice them the less stress you will feel.
Take a moment to appreciate what surrounds you in your life. Stress less this holiday season. Envision the Life you are seeking to achieve professionally & personally. Schedule a session with us today.
Enjoy your holiday being the best version of you.
Thank you for joining me and my wishes to you on a happy and healthy holiday season.