Tag: mindfulness

How do you get rid of Holiday Depression? #Christmas #holiday

How do you get rid of Holiday Depression? #Christmas #holiday

This is such an exciting time of year… Ecstatic shoppers out and about with all their holiday cheer, laughing children, stars bright, Santa and his elves are giving out gifts, family gratefully enjoying time with one another!! WAIT…

santa

OK, that’s what we think is happening in everyone’s lives, but let’s be real. Yes, there are some awesome things about the holidays, but for many people it’s a very draining and emotionally depressing time. And believe me, all the above holiday cheer is often times lost just hours later or even faked by some.

Think about all the happy people you see in the mall as you shop for your holiday cheer. You notice them, right? Look around though, you’ll also notice many tired, stress out faces. You’ll find people arguing and fighting with their families.

The reason I point that out is because you choose what you pick out. We pick out the happy people and get depressed because we are not them. We dismiss that fact we may have just caught their one and only happy thought in the last 6 months.

Holidays are busy, which alone can be stressful. Holidays can remind us of past devastating experiences that occurred during the holidays, lost loves ones that we wish were here with us…

Because we pick out what we want to I’ve tried to make it my mission to pick out happy activities and then focus on the activity itself. Let in the smell of holiday spices, listen to the wonderful sounds of music, enjoy the creativity of the holiday artists, feel the crisp air… one mindfulness.

happy snowman

Then as I create my own happy place I tend to let others into my life more AND have learned to enjoy the holidays a bit more.

Keep yourself involved in holiday gatherings and festivities but also give yourself some personal space.

If you are happy you will spread happiness to others, if you are sad or angry you will spread this to others. As you become happier you’ll notice the people near you tap into your mood.

Remember others. Depression is real for so many people, let people in and help them to feel love this season.

Allow yourself to feel happiness. You are not alone in your struggles.

How do you get rid of depression around the holidays?

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work for it.”                                   — Eleanor Roosevelt

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work for it.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

We must not wait for peace to enter our lives. Open yourself to receive peace and believe that it will come.

Create situations that open paths in your life that will lead you to peace.

Peace takes action on your part, oftentimes while you are feeling anything but peaceful. Take small steps and you will find your peace.

Make MUSIC

Make MUSIC

Having trouble finding peace?

One Mindfulness is a very helpful technique in finding peace, but can be very hard to accomplish some days.

Try playing an instrument like the guitar, banjo, keyboard (my favorite), or drums. Ever seen someone playing a didgeridoo? I have always wanted to try one of those! It doesn’t matter what you choose, keep your options open.

Something you’ve never done before?? No worries, if you are new to playing start simple and make it fun. The great thing about playing an instrument is that it takes a lot of concentration, great for one mindfulness. You have to focus on how to play the instrument and what sounds are coming out of it. It takes your focus off the outside world and onto making music.

You can play from ear or learn to play from written music. You can get information on how to play from books at garage sales or music stores. Look on line for instructions. There are many videos available on line now. Find an local instructor that you can see once a week to help you learn. The learning options are limitless.

music

If you used to play an instrument start playing again. Remember the peace and fun it brought to your life? It’s never too late to start playing again. It will take practice, but that’s part of the fun.

Ever play piano, there are some great keyboards you can buy that are easier than having to move a piano and keep it tuned. Used drums (think bongo drums smiley) and guitars are easy to find at garage sales, on line, or at your local music store. Ever try a recorder?  They are less expensive to buy and are a small, simple instruments to learn. Visit your local music store and see what they have available. Have patience with the learning process, take it slow. Enjoy.

FOCUS on the sound of the instrument, the feel of the instrument, the sheet music or the memorization of notes, and the peacefulness that comes from playing.

Find a Little PEACE in Your Life

Find a Little PEACE in Your Life

Peace is found everywhere around you.

Make an effort to identify something peaceful in your life every day.  Make a game out of it so it becomes a habit.  If you have a very stressful life this may seem hard to do at first.  It can take some practice.

It can help to have a note pad next to your bed and force yourself to write down at least one peaceful thing you saw that day.

Peace can be seen as you are driving to and from work.  Look for green fields and flowers or kids playing baseball.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Seek out the peaceful elements of your surroundings.  In crowded areas maybe you’ll hear a child laughing or smell delectable food from a nearby restaurant.

Take a walk or a hike and listen to the birds or watch the gentle waves in a lake.  Listen to nearby streams and focus on the sound and the sun reflecting on the ripples in the water.  Take a closer look at the lake, do you see rocks or fish swim peacefully by?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Observe the small things around you and take in the peaceful energy.

What brings peace into your life?

Many Different Ways to “WIN” a BATTLE

Many Different Ways to “WIN” a BATTLE

Learn healthy habits to handle every day battles. Don’t hold onto negative energy.

Why fight some battles but let others go? How do you choose which battles to fight? Learn when to have a healthy debate.

Everyone runs into negative situations. Someone is picking on you or your child, you have a disagreement with your boss, a stranger is rude to you, or someone cuts you off in traffic.

Learning healthy ways to handle negative situations will bring peace into you life. Life is too valuable to fight on a daily basis. On the other hand, there are battles that you need to fight for. It’s not healthy to ignore all negative situations. There are some battles that will linger forever if you do not stick up for your beliefs. Holding onto anger can allow it to grow inside you and negatively effect your physical and mental health.

Which battles do you fight through debating or expressing your views? I always ask myself if the issue is something that will continue to frustrate me in a couple weeks. If it will, then I take it head on. If not, walking away may actually win the battle.

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For example, if the store clerk is rude, are you really going to care a day later? Chances are you’ll be over the frustration within a day or possibly even within a few minutes. So, in situations like this, walk away. Let it go and don’t be confrontational or rude in return. You will feel stronger because you let it go. If you must respond be truly nice in return. Do not say something that will escalate the situation. Your reaction won the situation.

Keep in mind, most of the time people are rude it’s not really directed at you. They are having issues of their own that have nothing to do with you. They hold onto anger and then lash out at innocent people. Or, maybe you just took them wrong and they were not trying to be rude.

If someone picks on you or a loved one, take it on. You and your loved ones are worth it. Being picked on is likely something you will hold onto for years or even a lifetime. In these sorts of situations be strong, but practice pausing before you react. Violence is not the answer. Practice social intelligence. Give your brain enough time to think before you speak.  Find a friend to talk through it first before you react. You will be proud of yourself that you stuck up for the situation and handled it in a healthy manner.

Many situations do not need a confrontation. Often you just need to stand up for your opinions and values and have a healthy debate.  Debates are OK. You will learn a lot more through debating than from fighting. Even if you do not win the debate you still WON in the fact you learned more about the other person’s point of view and you were able to convey yours.

Think though healthy ways to take on the battles of life and find your peace.

Where is your PEACEFUL place?

Where is your PEACEFUL place?

Everyone should have a peaceful place to visit!

Mine happens to be a bit of a hike up the hill in the picture above, but once I regain my breathe it’s one of the most peaceful places I have been.  I can see for miles.  It’s very quiet up there except for the light breeze and the birds chirping in the back ground… and the occasional chain saw down in the valley.  Hopefully the resident mountain lion keeps to himself.  I’m hoping he (or she) finds it just as peaceful and is sound asleep!

Peaceful places can be a special spot in a park.  Find a place with beautiful foliage, lake or river.  Listen to the sounds, watch the ducks, and take in the fresh air.

Peaceful places can also be inside your house.  You can create a reading nook or find a room all to yourself.  Turn the lights down, light some candles, and take some deep breathes.

Your peaceful place may be riding a bicycle down an open road or taking in the air on the back of a motorcycle.

Where is your peaceful place?

Need some Calmness in your Life? Just Breathe…

Need some Calmness in your Life? Just Breathe…

Breathing Exercises

Are you feeling stressed, tired, having a hard time sleeping, is your mind running in circles? Try adding some breathing exercises to your daily routine.

Here’s a very basic technique I regularly use.

Take a slow deep controlled breathe. Let the air fill your diaphragm and count to 3 or 4. Hold it and count to 3 or 4, then slowly release. Do this at least 3 times. Concentrate on the sound of your breath. Do not allow yourself to become dizzy, this should be relaxing 🙂

When you exhale you can also try keeping your mouth shut and exhaling through the back of your throat.

Another option is to picture something calming as you are taking these breaths, such as the blue sky, yellow aspen leaves, or red tulips. You can also picture the negativity leaving your body.

There are many different breathing techniques out there and many can take less than just 10 minutes a day. Find one that best works for you. Breathing exercises can increase your energy, help you feel calmer, and help you relieve yourself of stress.

Try one out today!

One Mindfulness

One Mindfulness

The great thing about One Mindfulness is that you can do this any where at any time. This technique is used quite often within Behavior Therapy.

The basic concept of One Mindfulness is to be 100% in the here and now. It helps you train your mind to focus completely on one item or task, which in turns helps you move your focus away from any negative thoughts you may be having. It also helps you become less distracted.

First choose an item or task. Use as many of your senses as possible with each try.

I’ll use an orange for this example. Ask yourself what color is the orange, take in the color and how beautiful it is. Do this slowly.

Then ask yourself what does the orange feel like? You can feel the small bumps of the orange rind and the circular feel of the fruit. How heavy is it? What else can you feel about it?

Then start to peel the orange. How does the skin of the orange feel? What does it smell like? Take in the sweet smell. Again take this process slowly and try to be fully focused on the orange.

Then take a bite of the orange. Think about the taste.

Continue this process and work to be one mindful of the orange.

You can do this with anything, a river, the sky, flowers, a soft blanket, running, even a writing pencil will work. Just keep your focus on the object and think of every sense you can use to explore it.

No worries, it can take a lot of practice to be completely present in this technique. It’s very easy for your mind to stray. But keep practicing and you’ll get better and better at it. It can become quite calming and help bring more awareness of your surroundings. You come across beautiful things every day. Enjoy them!

I really love this technique!