Still Being Jolly & Mindful!

 

As I finish putting up the last of my Christmas decorations, I’m thinking to myself, Am I ready for the holidays? Am I ready for the hustle and bustle of the season that lies ahead of me?

I hope so…

Every year, I assure myself that I WILL get through the hectic season. I always do. 

But...there's also a little bit of fear, lurking in my mind, that threatens this assurance and leaves me feeling really uncomfortable. You know, the pulsing heart rate with moments of panic and flashes of self-doubt? This does not feel jolly!

 Sometimes, even when I remind myself that these are only thoughts of fear, that I can choose to ignore, isn’t enough to get me through the uncomfortableness.

 How do I ignore my negative thoughts about fear and get rid of these panicky feelings? 

This is where my mindfulness practice comes in handy.

 First…as soon as those thoughts come creeping into my mind, I set an INTENTION to switch them off. Yup, it’s as simple as that!

If I begin to think thoughts like, I feel stressed! or I can’t possibly do all the things that I have to do! Or I’ll never finish this in time! then, I simply stop thinking and doing what I’m thinking and doing… and I take a few deep breaths in and out.

 I have a MINDFUL MOMENT.

It doesn’t matter where I am. So far, I’ve managed to be able to mindfully breathe through uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, pretty much anywhere and everywhere I am.

I can take a mindful moment anytime...after stopping whatever I'm doing, with eyes closed (or not), I BREATHE for a few moments, until I can feel my body calming and my breath slowing down. This is the part I love about mindful breathing...it’s like magic how it helps me regulate and manage my emotions. How appropriate to go along with the magic of the holidays!

Once I’m a little more balanced, I NOTICE what is going on around me…I notice if there is a certain thing, person, place or situation that is stressing me out.

While noticing and by listening to what is going on in my body, I BECOME AWARE of what is going on in the present moment. I become aware to my body and what is making me feel so stressed.

Thinking doesn’t help me get through the uncomfortable feelings in my body... JUST BEING with my experience and feeling the fear in my body helps me recognize and understand what it is that I’m afraid of. 

Am I afraid of failing or not succeeding? Am I afraid of NOT being super human this holiday?

 

At this point, I usually realize that I place way too many unrealistic expectations on myself during the holidays. I need to slow down and take more breaks. I need to make sure I have more MINDFUL MOMENTS!

Once I’ve breathed through my fear, calmed my body and cleared my mind, I feel better. Once I understand what I’m afraid of, and this is half the battle of dealing with it, I RESPOND to it. Mindful moments help me to respond to situations, instead of reacting to them.

So, back to those feelings of I feel stressed!... Well, now I don’t really feel this anymore. I've changed my fearful thoughts because I now know that they can't threaten me...they are only thoughts!

Why waste all my time, this holiday, on fears that may not even happen? I have better things to do, like wrapping Christmas presents.

I have better things to BE…

like jolly and mindful! 

Tracy Bryan is an award-winning Indie author. She writes whimsical books for kids ages 4-12. She likes to tackle important and diverse topics that affect kids and their families. Tracy’s debut fiction picture book with illustrator David Barrow is called Put Away Your Phone! . They are currently working on their next book together called Too Many Things! due to be out in January 2017! View the pre-release book trailer here!  

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