3 Ways to stay centered during the Holidays
It is common during this time of year for our immune systems to be bombarded by stress. Many of us overdo it and pay the price with nasty coughs or feelings of being rundown. This year, stay ahead of the curve. Here are 3 very simple, very practical ways to stay centered during the holidays.
#1) Conscious breath
Many ancient traditions teach about the health benefits of breathing it is no different here in our modern culture. Conscious breath (meaning to reflect inwards and observe your breath) may be one of the most beneficial things that we do for ourselves in times of stress. If you’re at the office, at a family party, or stuck in traffic. Try pausing for a moment and turning your attention to your body. The key word is to simply, ‘Notice’. Notice, watch, and observe the breath. Naturally, you will notice your mental and emotional state. Simply notice feelings and thoughts without judging them or seeking to escape from them. This will give you space and the expansion to breathe rhythmically and continuously. Remember there is no need to force anything, including the deepening of the breath it will happen on its own. This exercise can be performed, ‘in action’ when you have reached a state of intense stress but it is meant to be completed before the that state is reached, preferably in the morning or night when you have time to yourself.
2) Draw your attention to your breath
3) Allow feelings and thoughts to flow and unfold
4) Spend 3-5 minutes daily with this exercise
#2) The Heart Space
Many studies have been conducted over the past 40 years about the heart and it’s impact on our emotional states. These studies show what happens when you’re actually centered within your heart. Heartmath Institute out of Boulder Creek, CA has even designed a device that shows your coherence ration ( when your heart and your brain our working in optimal function this is known as coherence). The monitor measures your heart rate and your heart rate variability to determine the coherence between your brain and your heart. It has now been demonstrated and proven that the heart is actually the central intelligence of the body and the very first part of the body to be created in conception. From the heart sprouted everything, including the arms, legs, the brain, and the body as a whole. If you are looking for the perfect gift for your meditation/ yoga friend try the Inner Balance from HeartMath. The exercise can be done without any equipment and personally, I prefer it.
2) Bring your attention to your heart
3) Breathe 3 seconds in and 3 seconds out imagining the breath flowing in and out of the heart
4) Feel feelings of gratitude, compassion, and joy
#3) Ask for a Miracle
By far the most potent and useful of the exercises, ‘Asking for a Miracle’, from A Course in Miracles gets straight to the heart of the issue and relinquishes it. What this is suggesting, based on the writings in the book, is that when you ask for a miracle your mind is literally transitioning from fear-based thinking and placed into what is deemed correct thinking or thinking within love. This is called a full-blown perception switch, when you switch from thinking with fear to thinking with love. I ask for miracles daily. It is not uncommon to be given the answer almost immediately when you ask. It will take time, patience, and practice to fully gain the benefit of the, ‘Miracle Mind’ but it may be the best decision you will ever make.
2) In your mind, ask for a miracle to occur or ask to perceive the situation from a higher/ different perspective
3) Listen, the answer will come in the form of an image, memory, thought, or sign
4) Practice often to make yourself more open to the power of the Miracle
There you have it, these three methods could give you the opportunity to govern your holidays from a place of peace and wholeness, instead of stress and anxiety.