How can I cope through the holidays?

Mindfulness can have many benefits for people suffering from difficulties such as anxiety and depression. Practicing mindfulness can be an excellent way of coping. Mindfulness may help people get back in touch with the present moment, as well as reduce the extent with which they feel controlled by unpleasant thoughts and memories. So often in our lives, we are stuck in our heads, caught up in the anxiety and worries of daily life.

Here’s a simple way to practice: Find a comfortable position either lying on your back or sitting. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on your breathing. Pay attention to what it feels like in your body to slowly breathe in and out. Then bring your attention to your belly. Feel your belly rise and expand every time you breathe in. Feel your belly fall every time you breathe out. Continue to focus your attention on the full experience of breathing. Imagine you are “riding the waves” of your own breathing. Anytime that you notice your mind has wandered away from your breath, simply notice what it was that took your attention away and then gently bring your attention back to the present moment – your breathing. Continue as long as you would like. Notice if there are any differences after implementing this exercise.

Angela Slade

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