Let’s face it. Sometimes, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can make Christmas feel anything but merry! When we’re rushing around to Deck the Halls, all the Jingle Bells can make our heads spin! Luckily, help is available. Today, we’re going to share five tips to avoid and relieve holiday stress. In addition to enjoying martial arts practice at MP USA, here are some ways to celebrate the season without feeling like you’ve been run over by a reindeer. Haul out the holly!
1. Ten Deep Breaths
TLC’s best advice for keeping your sanity this holiday season is simply to breathe. “Breathing deeply is a simple way to calm your body and mind,” journalist Katie Morton writes. “Scientifically, deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates stress and brings a state of relaxation to the body.”
When we’re feeling stressed, taking 10 deep breaths can help us clear our minds and regain our emotional balance. Once we feel recentered, we are better-equipped to manage our busy lives.
2. Emotional Freedom Technique
The Emotional Freedom Technique is a physiological intervention that is used to treat a variety of physical and psychological disorders through a system of tapping pressure points on the body. Advocates of EFT say its practice releases negative energy in that body that can lead to ailments. It is also used to release negative emotions.
“The best part is that you don’t have to excuse yourself from dinner to do this,” writes Bustle journalist Brandi Neal. “ You can tap right at the table.”
‘Want to learn more? Here are some EFT tapping techniques shared on video to help you manage Christmas commotion: Dr. Kim D’Eramo shares some EFT tapping techniques to reverse holiday stress.
3. Laughing Out Loud
“Laughter is the best medicine” is much more than a cliche! It’s true! “A good belly laugh doesn’t just lighten the load mentally,” says WebMD. “It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood.”
If you Google “benefits of laughing out loud,” you’ll also learn that laughter can help lower your blood pressure, bolster your immune system and relax your whole body. Ho-Ho-Ho! Maybe that’s why Santa is so jolly!
4. Metta Meditation
A fourth way to alleviate holiday stress is to meditate. At MP USA, we practice a form of moving meditation designed to improve overall fitness and wellness. Our work complements metta meditation, where specific words and phrases are repeated to invoke feelings of loving-kindness. Try it! Just repeat these words to yourself:
- May I be happy
- May I be healthy
- May I be peaceful
- May I be loved
Don’t you feel better already? If you’d like to learn more, Alysha Greig with the University of Washington has some great instructions to help you de-stress with this form of meditation. Also, join us on Wednesday nights from 7-9 pm for our Wealth of Health Fitness class which incorporates metta meditation techniques with power building exercises.
5. Physical Activity
When we start Rocking around the Christmas Tree in our Ogden, Utah martial arts facility, it becomes much easier to feel festive. In fact, among all the stress-relieving ideas we’ve shared today, physical activity is our favorite. And we’re not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, whenever coping techniques for stress management are considered, “exercise may be the one most recommended by health care professionals.”
These five tips to avoid and relieve holiday stress are excellent to use in a pinch, but if you’re looking for stress relief with benefits that last year-round, we invite you to call MP USA today at (866) 66-MPUSA (67872). Enrollment for our new family martial arts program is in progress, as well as the next semester of Wealth of Health, and new classes start on Jan. 2, 2019. Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas!