Are you finding it a little more difficult this year to get into the holiday spirit than in years past? It happens to all of us every now and then- it's called the blues! Stress and anxiety can overwhelm us during the holidays. With all the new years parties, greeting cards, advertisements, commercials and movies showing perfect friendships and families, even those of us who are general content in life start questioning the quality of our own relationships. But instead of embracing your inner scrooge, add these simple steps to your daily routine and you'll feel more happier and content not only during this holiday season but all year long!
1. Step Back and See the Big Picture
Being more spiritual is about letting go of control and taking things in stride as they come your way. Go with the flow! When something goes wrong, try to find the positive things in the situation and dwell on those. Relax and keep things in perspective! You may not control what happens, but you can control how you re-act. Having this mindset and attitude help you to avoid the "poor me" and "life is so unfair" types of syndrome. Make a pact with yourself to agree to just let whatever happens, happen. You will be more happy when you're in a relaxed, carefree mindset!
2. Mind and Meditation
Ever wish you could just take 10 minutes to lay on a beach with the sun on your face, the sound of the gentle waves lapping on the shore, and the smell of coconuts in the air? The good news is-you can! You may not be there physically, but you can be there in your mind. Find a moment or two each day to simply close your eyes and get away from everything. Don't focus on anything, just clear your mind and listen to the sound of your own breathing. Doing this helps you develop mindfulness. And cultivating this quality helps you become more flexible when dealing with tough situations. This simple daily practice will help you cope with anxiety much better, so it's worth a shot, wouldn't you agree?
3. Turn up the Tunes
There's no question that music soothes the soul! That's one of the main reasons that music is such a prominent part of religions around the world. Music has power to move and speak to us emotionally and it expresses beliefs and attitudes that words can't convey. Listening to music can do many different things for you, some of the main ones being lowering blood pressure and anxiety levels and helping you deal with pain. Try and make music the focal point of at least one part of your day. Whether it be in the car, during a bath or shower, or at night before you drift of to sleep, relax with the music of your choice and feel your stress melt away almost instantly!
4. Enjoy Face Time, Not Facebook
While the modern day conveniences that allow us to keep in touch socially such as texting, facebook and skype are great ways to stay connected to family and friends, they just don't do what a little face-to-face chat will do for you. If you're feeling a little down, don't turn to facebook for companionship. Set up a dinner date with your dad and run to the mall with your cousin. There's a deep need in all of us as humans to have a sense of belonging that comes with having personal interactions with friends. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can keep a relationship alive through twitter- or keep yourself from feeling lonely by calling your mom every few weeks. Make it a point to have face time with a loved one in your life at least once a week and prepare for your happiness levels to soar!
5. Be a Goody Two Shoes
When you spend time and energy on someone else- be it dropping off your neighbors dry-cleaning or bringing your co-worker flowers on a stressful day- it's a joy to both of you. You were a help to someone who needed it, and that makes you feel light-hearted and good about yourself. By being compassionate and offering your assistance to someone who needs it, you become more aware of what you have and are generally happier with your lot in life! Sound crazy? Why don't you give it a try and see for yourself! What do you have to lose, right?
6. Nature is Nurturing
If the only green you ever see is the drawing of a tree that your nephew made for you and stuck on your refrigerator last summer, it's time for a little nature walk! You don't have to rush off and climb Mount Everest to get in touch with nature. All you need to do is disconnect and take a 30-minute jog or bike ride out side. Surround yourself with the open sky, the fresh air and the sounds of the outside and be amazed by how much it can lift your spirits!
7. Learn to Forgive and Forget
Yes, it's the oldest-and the hardest- trick in the book! But it's the best! Holding onto grudges will only make you bitter and hard. You never know what makes a person act the way they do. Try to have a little more patience and understanding when dealing with others. If you've tried it all and nothing works, then all you can do is resolve to move on with your life and let them be the way they are. Don't allow their standards of living to pull you down! Accepting others and their little imperfections as well as your own are a major part of what true spirituality is all about!
Accept the coming new year as a fresh chance to start living your life to it's fullest and happiness! Use these tips to make each day feel as peaceful and relaxing as possible! Once you get into the habit of doing it, you will notice the change in your attitude towards yourself and others. Now that's true happiness!
Top Photo Credit: ozoni11