If you are seeking some mindfulness support through the holidays, I’ve gathered four of my free go-to guided meditations to manage holiday stress. Wishing you the most delightful holiday season. Remember to be kind to yourself and try to be present – it’s the best give you can yourself and your loved ones. Happy Holidays!
Compassion Practice – 12 Minutes
The Loving Kindness Meditation is a simple, heart-centered meditation technique with roots in Buddhism, sometimes called Metta. Practiced around the world, Metta cultivates compassion for one’s self and others. Compassion is the natural state of the heart and mind, which is motivated by cherishing other living beings and wishes to release them from their suffering. In this meditation practice, you gather your attention to focus on a specific compassionate phrase that you repeat silently.
Breath Awareness – 5 Minutes
The simple act of breathing in and out of our nose accesses the parasympathetic nervous system, which automatically calms and relaxes us. Paying attention to our breath is a simple way to connect to your present moment and become more self-aware and more mindful. The best part? You can practice breath awareness anywhere. Take note if you find yourself practicing this meditation at other points in the day.
Gratitude – 5 Minutes
When you pay attention to your heartbeat or the area behind your breastbone, you enliven its qualities of compassion, gratitude and inclusiveness. The heart sends signals to the brain that change the entire nervous system, reducing stress hormones, enhancing your immune system, and increasing anti-aging hormones. As we tap into our heart center, we experience more lightheartedness and present-moment awareness in our day-to-day.
Body Awareness – 10 Minutes
Focusing our attention on physical sensations helps to relieve stress by shifting our attention to the present moment. If your attention drifts (and it will!), simply bring yourself back to the physical sensations. As you explore the physical sensations as they come and go, you become a witness to your body and breath, and this helps you develop present-moment awareness.