The American Psychological Association reports holiday stress can arise in many places such as the seasonal rush to get everything done, heightened worries about spending money on holiday gifts, and tasks related to decorating and preparing meals. Investing time in these things makes it easy for each of us to overlook our individual health and wellness. When time isn’t on your side, it may seem selfish or simply impossible to take a moment each day to tune in with your mind and body.
However, some short and sweet mindful exercises like meditation will help you improve focus and sleep, reduce stress, and increase social engagement, which will give you the ability to spend more quality time with your loved ones. Below are a few more ways meditation can help you combat stress to enjoy a more relaxing holiday season.
Benefits of Meditation
It’s no secret that meditation has gone mainstream, popping up more and more in our culture as the latest health and wellness trend. Meditation has been shown to improve memory, reduce anxiety, decrease physical pain, boost creativity and more. Many people experience very high levels of stress throughout the holidays, which then affects other aspects of their lives. It’s common for people to cope with their stress with sedentary activities like watching TV, sleeping, eating and drinking. Overall, research shows that meditation is a healthier way to treat added pressure.
With the holidays being such a social time – whether it’s spending time with friends, family, coworkers, or others – most of our stress stems from social settings. With that said, research shows that meditating alone might not be as effective compared to group meditation. Group meditation classes can be as short as 25 minutes, which is more realistic during the hectic holiday season. Incorporating group meditation into a busy shopping day or family activity gives you time to hit the restart button. Taking a short break from the holiday chaos will allow you to feel more productive and refreshed.
It’s obvious the holidays are hectic, making it very hard to create downtime. However, there are still a few ways you can sneak in some personal time to be mindful of your body. For example, during a busy family gathering, it may not be possible to find peace in the house. This is a great opportunity to consider taking a break to do a brief walking meditation – head outside and embrace the environment around you. Before going on your walk, it’s important to forget about the destination and focus on the present moment. This time spent outside and away from the crowd can be incredibly calming and uplifting.
Written by: Hamid Jabbar
Hamid Jabbar is the Meditation Director at Current Meditation, the world’s first meditation franchise. Current takes a modern approach to the ancient practice, with a simple format that makes meditation and mindfulness accessible to more people than ever before. Hamid has been meditating daily since 2005 and teaching others since 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Music from NYU and JD from UCLA, and numerous certifications in Yoga and other traditional mind-body practices. He is responsible for Current Meditation content and guide training. For more information, please visit becurrent.com or contact 602-522-2000.