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December 14th, 2020

Mindfulness for the Holidays

Mindfulness Meditation

As lovely as the holidays can be, they can also be an emotional roller coaster. Finding a sense of calm with mindfulness during the holidays can help those feeling stressed. Feelings such as loneliness, isolation (especially this year with the pandemic) and the anticipation of intense family dynamics are a reality. We may find ourselves reverting back to past behaviours that don’t serve us and stem from our family of origin.

What is a mindfulness practice?

Mindfulness practices ask of us to be present to what is going on in the moment. Mindfulness teaches us to actively listen, to respond instead of react, to let go of judgment and to let go of expectations of perfection. When we get caught up in the idea of perfection we lose sight of what really matters — connection. Moreover, the rush to get everything done, and done perfectly, and then to document every moment for social media brings us stress instead of joy.

It is important to remember that we cannot change others but we can change how we respond to others. In other words, not letting our emotions highjack our behaviour.

Victor Frankl who was a Holocaust survivor, neurologist and psychiatrist underscored the importance of the pause in life. 

“Between Stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

Victor Frankl

Learning, understanding, and appreciating the pause is key in teaching mindfulness practice.

Learning how to regulate our emotions, responding rather than reacting. Allowing ourselves to feel our emotions without letting them take over and becoming less judgmental are all fundamental skills learned in mindfulness teachings.

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