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Reduce Holiday Stress With Mindfulness

These stress-relieving tips will get you from frazzled to relaxed in just 15 minutes or less.
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Life can be stressful! Kids, spouse, work, errands, the HOLIDAYS! and all of those unexpected things that pop up at the least convenient times. It all increases your stress level. And when your stress levels are high, it can cause you to make bad decisions and feel like your life is in chaos. When this happens, it’s a great time to just relax and reconnect. It's healthy for you, and it takes less time than you may think.

You don't need to retreat to a spa for the weekend. Each of these stress-relieving tips can get you from frazzled to relaxed in just 15 minutes or less.

1. Meditate

Just seven minutes of a meditation every day can help ease anxiety and stress for the entire day. Studies show that it alters your brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.

It's not difficult. Just sit up straight and place both of your feet on the floor. Close your eyes and focus all of your attention on a positive mantra like “I am at peace” or “I am happy.” You can say this out loud or silently, it doesn’t matter. Place one hand on your belly and the other over your heart. Now sync the mantra with your breath as you feel your belly rise and fall. Let all other distracting thoughts just glide right out of your mind.

2. Decompress

Place a warm towel or a heat wrap on your shoulders for a few minutes. Close your eyes and focus on relaxing the muscles in your face, neck, upper chest, and back. You can get double the relaxation by combining this with a meditation. Rest for about ten minutes then remove the wrap and gently massage away any tension that may be left.

3. Laugh Out Loud

A hearty laugh not only makes you feel happy, it also lowers your body’s cortisol levels (stress hormones). Call up a friend who makes you smile. Watch a few funny videos on YouTube. Just be in the moment and let everything else go for a few minutes. It will instantly lower your stress and brighten your day.

4. Put On Your Favorite Playlist

Listening to soft, relaxing music lowers your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels. Listening to upbeat music will increase your energy, get you moving, and make you happy. Whatever your preference is, create a playlist of your favorite songs and enjoy some time alone with the music.

5. Be Grateful

Writing down your gratitude will help you keep in mind all of the good things in your life. The things we most often forget about when we are under stress. Keeping these things in mind is a great way to release stress when it hits. Being grateful for your blessings will stop any negative thoughts in their tracks so you can get back to enjoying your day. If you don’t have time to stop and write down your gratitude, just start thinking about them one-by-one. You will feel your stress melting away.

Samantha McGraw is a life coach, speaker and mentor to women who want to live a happier,healthier, more fulfilling life. Her mission is to encourage each person she meets to love themselves and appreciate their uniqueness so that they can be the best version of themselves that they can be, navigating their journey with purpose, joy and balance.