The holidays are upon us. Are you saying “Ho Ho” or “Ugh Oh?” The holidays can be especially challenging as “To Do” lists and extracurricular activities grow. Unfortunately for many, something else grows this time of year too: stress. Meditation could help you. The practice of meditation allows you to quiet your mind in such a beautiful and peaceful way, even if just for 10 seconds at a time. We, as humans, so seldom find freedom from active thoughts in our mind, that even a few seconds can help us to feel, well, better.

As your meditation practice grows, either in the amount of sitting time or in the amount of days per week you commit to it, you will gradually begin to see a difference in yourself. These positive changes can be physical as well as emotional and are well-documented in their benefits to overall well-being. You may realize those situations that used to push your buttons have a little less effect on you. Or that you take fewer things personally or feel insulted and hurt. You may find yourself being less reactive and more responsive. Or you may just feel calmer, more at ease.

Many people say that learning to meditate has changed their life for the better. Meditation can strip away the power of nervousness, anxiousness, fear, and anger. Through meditation we can become healthier in both mind and body. With regular practice it allows you to accept people and situations with less judgment, and it may also help you to know when it is time to walk away. It allows you to be more compassionate and loving toward yourself and, in turn, others. Who wouldn’t want these positive changes in their life?

Freeing ourselves from workplace nerves, anxieties, and fears can also have a positive impact on people. These negative feelings hinder our creativity and productivity. Meditation helps us appreciate the “bigger picture.” There’s more to life than being focused 110% on a job. When you learn to allow and let go of the need to control, outcomes can be even more successful, with significantly less stress and pressure.

Try, for just one day, not to force situations to go your way and see if things don’t turn out just fine. It may not turn out how you thought it would or should, it may turn out differently, but the situation may still be just fine. The holidays are an ideal time to try this out. You can plan that family event down to every last detail, but you cannot control how the event turns out. Someone may fall ill or it may be a more fantastic time than expected, through no control of yours. The difference is you won’t have put yourself through the pain and suffering of stress and worry in the process. Just trust that things will happen however they are meant to happen for your greatest good, and that most times the outcome is truly not up to us to dictate.

If the idea of these experiences is drawing you in, consider learning the practice of meditation. There are many styles out there! Meditation helps you to listen for the messages the Universe and your Higher Power have for you. In this time of gift-giving it is important that you realize that You are a gift to the Universe. Give yourself the gift of love by turning compassion inward and then begin extending that toward others. You will find many more peaceful, happy moments during the holidays and every day.

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