(HealthNewsDigest.com) – While the Holidays are supposed to be a generally joyful time of year, they often induce a whole lot of unwanted stress. Whether you are anxious about the cost of buying the dozens of required gifts, dreading spending time with relatives that make your blood boil or have to single handedly prepare a lavish meal for 20, there are countless reasons why the holidays seem to get us stressed.
As a world-renowned meditation expert and Mentors Channel founder, I know that just a few minutes of meditation a day can make a huge difference in how we handle the myriad of situations and issues that cause us stress during the holiday season.
Many people have yet to try meditation because it seems like an impossible task for those who think they are not the “meditation type” or are unable to completely clear their mind to achieve a successful meditative state. However, it is important to note, that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. The only thing you need to do is commit to devoting a few minutes once or twice a day to this practice. If possible, try to practice in a quiet space and eliminate as much distraction as possible for those few minutes.
Regardless, if you are unaccustomed to meditation and are generally overwhelmed by the thought of it, the good news is there is plenty of hope for you. Believe it or not, we are all capable of incorporating meditation into our daily routine to make us happier, calmer and more able to take on life’s many challenges. In fact, meditation can provide you with valuable insights that can help change your life in many ways including achieving more focus, productivity and joy.
The following are some simple tips to help you get started on your meditation journey in the hopes that you can maintain a clear and calm head this holiday season:
- Set aside time daily. For beginners, start by trying to set aside 20 minutes a day, which you can split in to 2 segments – 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night. The amount of time is not as important as simply doing it regularly. You can always increase the amount of time as you become more proficient with your practice. Many say that 20 minutes in the morning and at night is ideal. Regardless, it’s been shown that the best time to meditate is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed at night. You can sit in a chair or lie down, whichever feels most comfortable.
- Use a mantra. While not mandatory, a mantra (like one of your personal affirmation like “I am loved” or “I am at peace”, or a more popular mantra like “om” or “om shanti”) can give you something to focus on while you meditate. Just repeat your mantra on both the inhale and exhale. If you prefer not to use a mantra, it is perfectly O.K.
- Focus on your breath. Your breath is the most important tool that helps you focus. And, it also important for stress reduction (stress is one of the leading causes of illness). Try using four counts on your inhale and eight counts on your exhale. Your breath should not be forced or strained in any way, so don’t be concerned if you takes you some time to work up to eight counts. Just know that lengthening the exhale will significantly help calm you down.
- Don’t worry about your mind wandering. It’s completely normal for the mind to wander when counting your breathing or even throughout the meditation process. This is completely natural. However, when you notice this happening, simply bring your attention back to your breath.
- Try guided meditation. You may be one of the many people who prefer to meditate when someone else guides you on the meditation journey. The Mentors Channel (www.mentorschannel.com) provides a host of guided meditations and resources for those that prefer it.
- Seek out tools to monitor your stress levels. Try a wearable gadget like the WellBe Gym App (www.thewellbe.com), the first bracelet that measures your stress and emotional wellness in the short and long term. The bracelet monitors who and what activities in your life trigger emotional stress, gives notifications when stress levels rise and provides real-time solutions in the form of meditation, focused breathing and mindful exercises.
- Exercise. The WellBe Gym App also doubles as a Gym Near You Finder App, which means that it can help you find a gym near you so that you can continue to work out during the holiday season and beyond. In addition, exercising regularly has been linked with reducing stress levels over time, making it easier to maintain a clear and calm head.
Today, meditation is considered to be one of the most powerful disciplines for stress management. There are a wealth of online resources that make it possible to practice anywhere, anytime. A body of clinical research amply demonstrates the physical and emotional benefits of the practice, which helps with everything from depression and anxiety to high blood pressure and addiction to workplace focus and personal relationships. If you have been a skeptic of the practice, I urge you to try out it – I know you will see great results! And the big payoff for the holidays, is that you willbreeze through the season with a much more positive and balanced state of mind.