Mindfulness for Holiday Stress Relief
Find Joy and Life-Affirming Presence
Take Five Minutes to Center, Breathe and Reduce Holiday Stress
Mindfulness meditation helps by interrupting stress cycles. This creates the space to think how to respond – instead of automatically reacting.
There are four basic types of stress : physical stress, psychological stress, psychosocial stress, and psychospiritual stress.
During an average holiday season – most individuals experience all four types of stress. It is very important to be able to be able to stop the cycle of stress and find some inner peace.
Mindfulness for Sober Holidays
Holiday pressures and demands can increase the impact of all normally stressful events – making them far more challenging.
When stress seems overwhelming – remember: the goal is a peaceful and sober holiday. Use Mindfulness for Holiday Stress Relief.
Practicing mindfulness when encountering holiday stress increases happiness – and creates a more peaceful environment.
Common Sources of Holiday Stress
Learn to recognize your sources of holiday stress.
Sources of Holiday Stress include:
∙ Work Stress
∙ Money Worries
∙ Family Stress
∙ Relationship Stress
∙ Unexpected Crisis Situations
(Not funny as seen on Christmas Vacation)
Sober Holidays Tip: Use Mindfulness to Maintain Emotional Balance
Feeling trapped in a stressful situation this holiday season? Or, feeling an emotional tsunami approaching?
∙ STOP – and take a deep breath.
∙ Walk away if you need to remove yourself from a stressful situation.
∙ Go to your Mindfulness ‘happy place’ and breathe mindfully and calmly.
∙ Repeat as needed.
Findings from studies suggest that over the course of meditating – long-term practitioners of mindfulness meditation actually altered the structure and function of their brains,‘Neuroplasticity and Meditation’
Uncovering Holiday Myths and Adjusting Expectations
It would be fair to say that many Americans experience a collective cultural ‘mythology’ during the month of December. Unrealistic expectations can be an especially serious issue for veterans returning home. It is important to know and understand potential stumbling blocks before encountering them.
Learn to recognize your holiday stress triggers, such as financial pressures, frustrations or personal demands – so that you can combat the stress before it leads to a meltdown.
Common Holiday Unrealistic Beliefs
Myth #1: Holidays are a time of joy – and everyone is happy.
Myth #2: Everyone can eat and drink as much as they want and never suffer ill effects.
Myth #3: Frustrations and exhaustion due to the holidays do not exist. Children will not cry or act up, significant others will finally understand us completely, we will not run out of tape and wrapping paper at the worst possible moment – and we will get that last parking space.
Myth #4: I can interact with family and relatives that always upset me. But due to a ‘Christmas Miracle’ – there will be no ill feeling and all long-standing issues will be happily resolved.
Takeaway: LIFE HAPPENS
• Frustrations will occur – even in holiday seasons.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff.
• And for larger issues – be patient with yourself.
• Work on mindfully handling issues.
Self-Medicating with Alcohol or Drugs Only Increases Holiday Stress
Sober holidays are possible. However, self-medicating with alcohol only makes stressful situations worse (sometimes, far worse).
And if self-medicating with alcohol goes on long enough – individuals can become functional alcoholics.
Functional (High Functioning Alcoholics) are masters of deception. Friends, co-workers and extended family may see ‘just an average person’. High functioning alcoholics live in denial and point to their career successes. But in private, alcoholic behavior patterns are fully active.
By any definition – functional alcoholics are true alcoholics.
Functional alcoholics (and functional addicts) do not fit the popular stereotype of ‘down and out’. However the health effects of consuming large daily amounts of alcohol or drugs will catch up with the individual – sooner or later.
“Our findings with regard to alcoholic subtypes should help dispel the popular notion of the ‘typical alcoholic,’” notes author Howard B. Moss, M.D., NIAAA Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research. “We find that young adults comprise the largest group of alcoholics in this country, and nearly 20 percent of alcoholics are high functioning and well-educated with good incomes.”
Wishing you a Sober, Mindful – and Peaceful – Holiday Season!
Contact New Start Recovery Solutions if you are experiencing issues with mental health (depression, trauma etc) and/or substance abuse.
We Can Help! Call 866-303-6275.
Happy Sober Holidays from New Start Recovery Solutions!
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