How to be less stressed and more present this holiday season, according to experts – CBC

Mindfulness practices have been proven to lower stress levels, blood pressure

Dec 22, 2022

The holiday season for many is a time to connect with family and celebrate. But the holidays can be stressful, with visiting family, travel, or the financial costs of hosting and giving gifts.

To tackle the holiday stress, psychologists and psychotherapists recommend using mindfulness.

Mindfulness describes a variety of practices that bring one’s attention to the present, without judgment and accepting things as they are. Common tools include meditation and breathing exercises.

“There’s no goal to achieve a particular state or feeling with mindfulness meditation. You’re not trying to feel any specific way, just trying to be in the here and now and noticing that,” explained Dr. Melanie Badali, a clinical psychologist at North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic in North Vancouver, to CBC’s The Dose host Dr. Brian Goldman.

Badali says people often think mindfulness is someone sitting down, cross-legged with their eyes closed. But in reality, mindfulness takes many forms, like being present in a conversation, enjoying time outside or savouring a meal.

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