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  • Writer's pictureJenna

Practice Mindfulness this Holiday Season

Did you know you can use your senses to calm your mind and your body?

Engaging and focussing on the senses is one strategy to stay present in the moment.

During the holiday season, there are lots of sensory opportunities to practice this.

Think of the sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas...

But first, why mindfulness?

For many of us, Christmas can be a busy and overwhelming season.

You might feel like your attention is being pulled in a hundred places all at once.

Your nervous system might be activated if you're experiencing stress and/or anxiety.

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing the mind to the present moment without judgement.

Sometimes it's hard to know where to start, or maybe you're just not ready to dive into a more formal meditation or mindfulness exercise.

Sitting and being with the senses is a great place to start.

Look around. Can you identify something to see, hear, smell, touch and taste?

Move through each sense, focusing on that experience for a few seconds at a time. If you find your attention being pulled in another direction, gently bring yourself back to the sense you're exploring without judgement or criticism.

It might feel challenging or even frustrating at first. That is normal. Practice accepting where you are today and try again tomorrow.

Cultivating a daily mindfulness practice takes time and... practice! Like a muscle, the more often you use this skill the easier it becomes and the easier it is to access when you need it.

There are multiple physical and emotional benefits to mindfulness. These include:

  • Physical: relieve stress; treat heart disease; lower blood pressure; reduce chronic pain; improve sleep; and, alleviate gastrointestinal challenges.

  • Mental Health: alleviate symptoms of depression; anxiety; substance abuse; eating disorders; couples’ conflicts; and, obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  • Overall wellbeing: develop a greater capacity to cope with adverse events; increased satisfaction in life; greater management of worries; increased presence in the moment; greater peace within oneself; and, and more connected relationships.

Let me know if you give this a try and how it worked for you. Even if it is just engaging in one of your senses!


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