It’s no secret that the holidays bring joy, but they can also bring on a whole lot of stress. Feelings of intense stress can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health, so it is important to find healthy ways to cope and manage stress. An effective way to combat stress is practicing mindfulness.
The basic mindfulness is the process of bringing your full attention to experiences in the present moment. Being mindful means being aware of where you are and what you’re doing, as well as not being reactive or overwhelmed with what’s going on around you. Mindfulness takes practice, but getting started can be quick and easy.
Try one of the following quick mindful meditation techniques next time you’re feeling stressed:
1. Box breathing—Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four and exhale through pursed lips, as if you are blowing through a straw, for a count of four. Repeat five times.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation—Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and take a few moments to find a calm, steady breath. Bring your awareness to your body. Spend several slow breaths focusing on tensing muscle groups in your body then release the tension. Work your way down from head to toes.