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Calm for the holidays - Harvard Health Blog

Move your body

Moving to do just about any exercise boosts your mood and manages your anxiety.

Just going for a walk can balance your emotions and provide positivity.

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Calm for the holidays - Harvard Health Blog

Calm for the holidays - Harvard Health Blog

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/calm-for-the-holidays-2018121015513

health.harvard.edu

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Key Ideas

Calm for the Holidays

A few quick ways to take holiday stress down, relax and invoke your calmer self:

  • Breathe deeply.
  • Exercise.
  • Diffuse charged conversations.

Deep Breathing

When your emotions run high, breathing speeds up, too. Slowing your breathing down relaxes tense muscles, bringing shoulders down from ears, calms roiling emotions, and helps disarm the hormonal cascade within the body that feeds anxiety.

Just five minutes of deep breathing can calm you effectively.

Move your body

Moving to do just about any exercise boosts your mood and manages your anxiety.

Just going for a walk can balance your emotions and provide positivity.

Diffuse Charged Conversations

Many relatives would tread into topics that are going to raise your blood pressure. Diffuse inflaming conversations and remain your calm self.

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Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a c...

Abdominal Breathing Technique
How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure.

When it works best: Before an exam, or any stressful event.

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or whenever it’s time to focus or energize.

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Understanding Stress
  • Dealing with Stress is imperative as it is unavoidable in modern life.
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Your Perception About Stress

With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.

Exposure to Stress

Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.

Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.

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What mindfulness is
What mindfulness is

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

What meditation is

Meditation is exploring. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: sensations, emotions and thoughts.

Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. And then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”

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