The holiday season can be a stressful time, and for many people, anxiety increases during this time of year. If you’re prone to anxiety, it’s important to take steps to manage your symptoms so that they don’t get in the way of enjoying the holidays.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment. It’s a way of living that means that you focus your mind and attention on what’s happening right now, rather than on the past or future.
When we have anxiety, our minds often race with thoughts about what might happen in the future or about things that have already happened in the past. These thoughts can make us feel overwhelmed, anxious, and even depressed. By training ourselves to be more mindful, we can learn to focus our attention on what’s happening right now.
So, what does mindfulness look like during the holidays? Holiday mindfulness is all about being present in the moment and appreciating what’s happening around you. One way to practice mindfulness is by making sure you’re not multitasking when spending time with family members.
If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, try to take a moment for yourself. For example, if you are making preparations for visiting guests, taking a moment to sit down for a coffee or glass of water might be a good idea. Perhaps you need to stop for a snack or lunch.
If you’re struggling with anxiety during the holiday season, there are some steps you can take to reduce stress and make this time of year more enjoyable.
Whether you are hosting or traveling to visit others, even taking a moment to yourself in a bathroom or separate room could be really helpful. You might like to work on a mindful exercise like square breathing.
Square breathing is a simple way to focus your attention on your breath, and it’s a great exercise for anxiety relief.
Square breathing involves taking a deep breath through the nose for 4 seconds. Then, hold your breath for 4 seconds, then slowly breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds. You can repeat this pattern until you begin to feel centered and calm. It’s called “square” breathing because the pattern looks like a square when written out.
This simple mindfulness exercise may help you manage any holiday stress. You can read more about the practice of mindfulness here.
Neurofeedback brain training
Holiday anxiety may be reduced with neurofeedback therapy. As with any ongoing therapy, you may need to commit to a long-term plan to work on reducing your overall levels of anxiety.
Clinicians who are trained in neurofeedback treatments may suggest this form of brain training as a part of a holistic health plan. You can read more on neurofeedback here.
Neurofeedback therapy for anxiety
Neurofeedback is a long-term treatment; it takes several sessions over several weeks before you’ll see results. With consistent practice, you can retrain your brain so that it learns how to respond more effectively when faced with stressful situations, helping you reduce holiday anxiety.
The overall goal would be to work on managing your feelings of anxiety at all times of the year.
How to find help
Anxiety is a part of life. It’s normal to feel worried, nervous, apprehensive, or afraid at times. But when worries and fears begin to interfere with your daily life, take over, and consume you, it’s time to seek help.
We would love to assist you. Contact us via our website to find out how we can help you and your loved ones during the holiday season.