This is the 'most wonderful time of the year' however it can also be one of the most stressful times, with lots of families coming together, the hustle and bustle of shopping centers, chaotic roads and small children running (or should I say, screaming) everywhere you go. I read a book recently which highlighted the benefits of mindfulness training. The best part about it? You don't need to be locked away in a Zen temple, or mumbling anything to yourself. You can practice it right now, in the middle of an argument, or sitting on a crowded train on your way home whilst you silently hate the person behind playing music way too loud... We've all been there, haven't we?
1. Check in and breath. In the middle of a stressful situation take a moment and turn your attention to your posture and notice how your body is feeling. Have you been sitting too long? Is your back hunched? Sit up straight or correct your posture and take a few breaths. centre yourself and it will slowly bring your mind back to the present.
2. Notice your feelings. Too often when people frustrate us it is because we often focus on what we want, how we think we should be treated and how the world 'should' be. Take a step back from these emotions and take you out of the equation to see the big picture.
3. Let go of control. Practice letting go and letting things happen. Practice not stressing over things being out of your control. Practice being happy no matter what happens.
Of course this is easier said then done, but with practice hopefully we will be on our way to being mindful and relaxed, even in the toughest situations.
What do you do to relax in stressful situations?