We could all use some natural ways to reduce stress this time of year! Here are a few quick & simple meditation tips to help you cope with the stress of the holidays…
It’s no secret that the holidays can be stressful. With traffic jams and crowds everywhere you go, not to mention the stress of hosting relatives (or traveling) – and of course, all that holiday shopping you have to get done, it’s no wonder that you really feel the need to “take a chill pill” this time of year!
Fortunately, there are a number of healthy and natural ways to reduce stress – no pills needed! 🙂
Research shows that one of the best ways to calm your mind and reduce stress levels is by meditating. In fact, some studies have found that just 5 minutes of meditation can lower your stress levels for the rest of the day!
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your meditation:
1.) Choose the Right Time of Day
The first thing to consider is that you don’t need to be sitting in a totally silent room for a short meditation. All you really need is a time of the day when you can find some peace and time to yourself, whether it is during your morning shower when you can focus on the sounds and feeling of the water on your skin, or the walk you take through a local park during your lunch break at work. These are perfect opportunities to meditate by losing yourself in the moment and leaving your worries behind for a few minutes.
2.) Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing is a vital part of meditation, so if you forget to do that, you will find meditation more difficult. The relaxation response starts with your breathing, and focusing on your breathing helps to take your mind off other things. Take a few minutes to truly focus on your inhaling and exhaling, noticing how your body changes when you take in deep breaths. Once you are only thinking about your breathing, you shouldn’t be thinking about much else, and your stress will naturally melt away.
3.) Have Patience With Yourself
Now that you are already in the mode for clearing your mind, the rest shouldn’t be as difficult. One important thing to remember is that meditation can take practice. That’s why it is good to start with short 5-minute meditation sessions. They still relax you and help to reduce your stress, and you won’t get frustrated if you feel like you don’t “get it” at first. Short bursts of meditation are much easier (both to do and to fit into your busy holiday schedule) than if you were trying to do it for an hour each night. Before long, you will find it easier and easier to relax and focus inward for a few minutes – and just a few minutes can make a huge difference in your stress levels!
For more natural stress-relieving tips, check out this post over at our Holistic Living blog.