I’m sure 2020 hasn’t turned out the way we were hoping it would, so that’s all the more reason to end the year with family connections, festivities and a fresh start for 2021. We asked top psychotherapist and confidence expert Gael Lindenfield for her advice to help us stay calm and enjoy every minute this Christmas…
Two 3-5 minute meditations to de-stress this Christmas
Here are two really quick and easy mediations that anyone can do at home, even if you haven’t tried this form of relaxation before. When tensions rise, take a few minutes out to get things back on track.
- Release the tension out of a few of your muscles by doing a few discreet stretches.
- Close your eyes and recall in your mind a scene which conjures up for you a feeling of peace and wellbeing (a sunset on a favourite beach, a rose garden, a golf course or mountain path).
- Visualise your scene in graphic detail. See its different colours and shapes. “Listen” to its sounds and smell its scents.
- Notice and enjoy the sensations of peace and wellbeing that you should now be feeling in your body. Allow yourself to relax even more in this sensation.
- Take a couple of slow deep breaths and open your eyes.
A mandala is a geometric design in which everything in the picture connects to a central point. An image search on the internet will bring up many beautiful and colourful ones. You could even draw or colour in your own. Keep it small enough that it fits easily into your handbag or pocket. You can then do this meditation almost anywhere.
Mandalas have been used for centuries all over the world to help induce a sense of inner peace.
This meditation uses the hypnotic power of their design to quickly induce relaxation of your mind and body.
Adopt a relaxed posture – uncross any folded limbs and give your shoulders a shrug or two. Put both feet on the ground in a comfortable position, slightly apart. Ensure that your back is straight and supported if you are sitting. Now follow these steps to complete the meditation:
- Take a few deep, slow breaths.
- Focus your attention for 3–5 minutes on the central point of your mandala.
- If your attention begins to wander, just gently bring it back to the central point. As you relax, your mind will start to “float” and your eyes will wander out to the sides of the design. When this happens gently refocus back again on the centre.
- Bring yourself slowly back into the world by first squeezing your toes and fists, then taking a couple of slow breaths. Your mind should now feel clear and energetic. You may even have forgotten what you were worrying about. When you do remember, you may well have a new idea about how to solve the problem. This is because the mandala meditative process also stimulates the part of your brain that is home to your creative thinking “muscles”. So this kind of meditation gives you two “pay-offs” for the price of one!