12 Days of Giving, Day 5: Give Your Mind a Break

 Image: Daniel Mingook Kim via Unsplash

Image: Daniel Mingook Kim via Unsplash

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself (and those around you) over the holidays is a little bit of mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and body sensations.

Countless studies have shown the enormous benefits of mindfulness for people who suffer from mood disorders like anxiety and depression, people undergoing periods of great stress, and for enhanced mental and even physical performance in all kinds of areas. 

In a season when stress is often at an all-time high, you might see how adopting a practice of calmly accepting your emotions could have a positive impact on your experience. 

If you've never practiced any kind of mindfulness meditation before, it might be worthwhile to find a class or group. Meditation has become so prevalent that even community rec centres now often offer courses.

For a little taste at home, or to create your own daily practice, I highly recommend the Chopra Centre's Free Guided Meditation series. The meditations are between 5 and 30 minutes long, and offer a great deal of instruction & context (ideal for anyone new to meditating). 

Steph Bowen