There’s no denying that Thanksgiving is a happy and celebratory time as family and friends gather together to give thanks, but it can also be tremendously stressful, due to the commitments and obligations involved. Meditation has been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety, promote more restful sleep, increase focus and mental clarity, and improve decision-making – all things that are especially valuable during a busy holiday weekend.
With that in mind, here are five tips from us at Muse – the brain-sensing headband that makes meditation easier by delivering real-time feedback on your mind’s meditative state – to help you deal with stress at Thanksgiving:
1. Try to live in the moment – We’re always looking at what’s next on the horizon, especially during the holidays. While we’re at one celebration, we’re thinking about the next and everything we need to get done before a dozen guests pile into our homes, unwittingly failing to pause and enjoy the moment at hand. Meditation trains your mind to focus on the now and to do away with wandering thoughts that bring negativity into your life. (Never meditated before? Start today with these meditation tips for beginners.)
2. Take a little “me time” – With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be difficult for people to find time for a lengthy break or workout. Even if it’s just for five or ten minutes, a quick meditation session in a private spot may be all you need to reset your stress levels.
3. Slow down and enjoy the little things – As social beings, we have a tendency to overcommit to holiday events and obligations. Remember, you can’t be everywhere at once and no one expects you to be. You also can’t please everyone. Slow down, decide what’s really important to you and focus on that. Meditation helps improve decision-making, helping you focus on what matters most. If that means only baking one type of pie, that’s ok.
4. Take a breath and put your worries on hold – When something unexpected happens, our minds can be our own worst enemy, playing out a million false scenarios all ending in Thanksgiving being ruined for everyone. Most often, these scenarios never come to fruition and whatever surprises or issues arise are completely manageable. Focus on controlling your breathing and clearing your mind, allowing yourself to realize that nothing is as bad as it seems – even if you just burned the turkey.
5. Enjoy family time and be mindful together – It’s easier to do something when we have the support of those around us. Try to get everyone on board with being mindful of the stresses that exist during the holiday season and focusing on what’s really important. Encourage some of your more supportive family members to take a quick meditation break with you, or at least take a short, contemplative walk together. A little mindfulness goes a long way.
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, so give yourself the gift of some meditative time, as well as an opportunity to consider what you’re most grateful for. As for us, we’re grateful for meditation and all the Musers in the world, and are wishing everyone a very happy and mindful Thanksgiving!