The hustle and bustle of this time of year can make it extremely difficult to stick to meditation practice, but not when you’re armed with these five mindfulness techniques that you can practice no matter how busy your life becomes.
- Make Meditation and Yoga Your Go-To Stress Buster
Trying to make it to a yoga class during the holiday season can be challenging. Why not try doing a session at home instead. As the traffic piles up and in many places, the weather turns frigid, we can use this as a sign to slow down. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic teachings alike, Fall and Winter are seasons meant to become more contemplative, and to restore the soul, so that once Spring comes, we are bursting with qi again.
If you can’t make it to a yoga class, find one of the many thousands available online, or just sit for ten minutes with a warm cup of tea, and focus on your breathing. Let whatever thoughts arise come, and be with them without judgement. This is a deeply restorative practice that you can come to love no matter where you are.
- Mindfulness Can Be Mobile
There is no better time to practice mindfulness than when travelling. Stuck on a long layover between flights? Use the yoga room in one of nine different airports (SFO, ORD, DFW, MDW, BTD, FSD, LHR, HEL, and FRA) to get a few downward facing dogs in or to just sit and meditate for a few moments – or hours!
Though you can’t meditate in car-bus or taxi-bound traffic, you can focus on mindful breathing, which can greatly reduce stress. Try this mindful breathing technique to instantly stop a fight-or-flight reaction from taking over during the stress of the holidays.
- Practice Mindful Eating
We can do almost anything mindfully from walking to talking to sitting and even eating. When the holiday feast start to roll out it is imperative that we practice mindful eating. Instead of gorging on every delicacy that is presented to us at family dinners, office parties and holiday celebrations, we can take a moment, breathe deeply and ask ourselves how we can nourish our bodies without becoming gluttonous.
Though its o.k. to be a little indulgent over the holiday season, reckless eating behaviors account for an average 3-5 pound weight gain over just a few weeks! While this may not seem like much, if the habit of over-indulging during the season is not nipped in the bud, that extra weight gain can compound over several months until we’re wondering why our clothing doesn’t fit, we feel tired and cranky, and we’ve lost our normal energetic outlook.
A simple practice of mindful eating – a slowing down, and enjoying a few treats – instead of gorging can ensure that we keep our hard-earned health.
- Practice Mindful Shopping
The United States of America is one of the biggest consumers of goods in the entire world, even though we are not even close to being the largest population.
As we purchase gifts for those we love this season, we can make the practice more mindful by asking ourselves if the gifts we are giving are really going to enrich another person’s life. Are the consumer goods you are purchasing like clothing or plastic toys (even yoga mats) contributing to environmental destruction? Or can you find something that is fair-trade, environmentally responsible, and that nurtures someone’s spiritual growth instead? Some gifts keep giving long after the wrapping paper has been tossed away. Why not be a person who gives in this mindful manner? (Healer’s of the Light offers gift packages for those you love, for instance).
- Use Japanese Acupressure Techniques to Calm Fear, Worry, Anxiety, and Stress
In about five minutes you can use acupressure on your own hands to help induce a relaxed, happy state of being. One at a time, wrap each of your fingers and thumb with the opposite hand and gently press the whole digit firmly. Each finger (and thumb) correlate to states of mind, which are released when pressure is applied. This releasing takes places as follows:
- Thumb – reduces anxiety and worry.
- Index – releases fear.
- Middle finger – releases resentment and anger.
- Ring finger – helps promote clear decision making, and can combat depression, sadness and fatigue.
- Pinky finger – can reduce anxiety while increasing confidence and optimism.
Of course, all of these techniques can be applied year-round, particularly during times of increased stress and busyness. Changing your emotional state is as easy as taking small, consistent action, to feel more alive, joyous, and free.