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3 steps to post-holiday zen

One of my favorite books is “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story,” by Dan Harris. When I first heard the title of the book, I was skeptical. Who is this New Yorker trying to persuade me to meditate? And why do I need to tame the voice inside my head? The book describes how Harris found meditation useful as a way to overcome the tendency to abruptly lose his temper on people who didn’t deserve it. This is something I’ve experienced post-holiday season. Shopping for gifts or returning them—something that is supposed to be joyful—becomes stressful when it turns into an argument with the person who cut in line. But it doesn’t have to be. Especially when we remember that all we can control is ourselves. It’s easy to give in to anxiety, but being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the present instead of future obligations and the stress they bring will make you a happier person. Try these quick and easy mindfulness tips:

Focus 

When you start to feel your heart racing and your temper rising, realize this is anger you are feeling. Be aware of your surroundings and the frustration you feel. Then put your feelings in context and think about whether they really justify anger.

Breathe 

Breathing is living. We breathe subconsciously and rarely think about it. I recently started training with CorePower to become a yoga teacher, and I’m astonished at how breathing can help remove tension in your body if you simply take the time to be aware of it. To relax and center yourself, bring your hand to your heart and feel your chest lift up and down as you inhale and exhale. After just five minutes of this, you will notice that you’re much more relaxed than before.

Move 

Try doing a subtle back bend to release stress hormones throughout your body. It’s best to dedicate at least a half-hour every day to stretching and getting the blood flowing. Any level of exercise and movement relieves stress.

This blog post has been reprinted with permission from Enjoy magazine, a beautifully crafted lifestyle publication for industry professionals. If you’d like to download the full issue of Enjoy, click here:https://www.gateless.com/enjoy-magazine


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