6 mindful ways to reduce stress

Written by Sophie Barrow

6 mindful ways to reduce stress
With Christmas just around the corner, stress levels are no doubt starting to rise. The festive season is wonderful, but it is often dusted with manic arrangements, lack of sleep and is very financially demanding. As a result, it can be the most stressful season of the year. 
A great way to reduce stress around Christmas is to be mindful. Here's how: 

Take a deep breathe 

If you find yourself in a stressful situation, take a few minutes to breathe deeply. A deep breathe from your abdomen helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, creating relaxation. This simple method can be practiced anywhere - on the move, at home, or even while trying to wrap presents, cook a Christmas dinner and brew the mulled wine all at once! 

Take a step outside

Walking in some fresh air is one of the best ways to reset your mind and body. Use it to break up your day and shift your awareness from the stressful situations you are in. If possible, walk in a park or countryside as the green colours help relax the frontal lobe of your brain a break, allowing your thoughts to relax and take a chill pill. 

Help others 

Helping others is incredibly uplifting and also positively impacts someone else. You could help someone with their Christmas chores or just show them an act of random kindness. You might find that you reap more benefits than you sow when you help someone else! 

Burn off some steam 

Exercise in any form is a great stress buster. Exercise decreases stress hormones and increases endorphins meaning you'll likely feel great afterwards. Doing some exercise when you're stressed during the festive season will keep you sane whilst also boosting your mood and energy levels. 

Write lists! 

Write a comprehensive list of everything you need to get done before 25th December (or 31st Jan if you're busy until then), then break it down week by week, day by day, so it's digestible. That way, all you'll have to do is tick off the list, which helps make your Christmas tasks seem doable and controlled. Once you complete each task, cross it off for an even greater sense of relief. 

Have a positive mindset

Positive thinking is powerful. Rather than getting bogged down in the Christmas shopping, hosting, present wrapping and all the other Christmas tasks, constantly remind yourself to think in a positive and uplifting way. Rather than concentrating on what might happen if you don't complete every task on your list, concentrate on what will happen when you get everything done and the positive outcomes of each step towards Christmas Day. You might also consider thinking positive thoughts like, 'I can overcome this obstacle, I can find balance, I can handle whatever comes my way' to give yourself inner strength. 



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