The holidays are quickly approaching. It is easy to get wrapped up in everything that needs to be done and become a ball of stress. Increasing the stress hormone cortisol for an extended period of time has many negative health consequences such as increasing belly fat and reducing bone density; two things we do not want in our lives.
The best thing we can do is to stay calm amidst the chaos. We can’t always control our outside circumstances, but we can manage our reactions. Here are three strategies I use that have really helped my clients.
1. Thoughtful Deep Breathing – While taking a deep “belly breath” through your nose, think of inhaling peace and calm. When exhaling, visualize a release of stress and anxiety. You can personalize this exercise with your own thoughts and images that you find to have a calming effect.
2. Play the “How Calm Can I Stay” Game – Instead of succumbing to stress, you simply stop and ask yourself how calm can I stay. I have perfected my game skills while sitting in traffic. It is easy and very effective. Your ability to do this will improve with practice.
3. Recite “I Choose Peace Now” – Touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of each finger (starting with the index finger). Say out loud or to yourself one word of the phrase “I choose peace now” each time your thumb touches a finger. Do this on both hands simultaneously and repeat it as many times as you want. (This technique was adapted from Gabby Bernstein.)
Let’s see how calm you can stay this month. I am wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with good health, peace, and happiness.