Holiday Stress - How to get out of the "Mind Spin"

Ever get to that point when your mind just won't stop? During the holiday season the mind often has plenty of material to work with. Your mind worries: "The holidays are almost here and you still haven't gotten gifts for half the people on your list??! It's not like you didn't know the holidays were coming! It's the same time every year!!" Or maybe your mind is worrying because you don't have "enough" money for gifts. Or maybe it's worrying about how you will survive your family or lack of family and loved ones this year. Whatever the thought or worry, whatever your situation may be this holiday season, not enough or too much, if you find yourself in full on "mind spin"----worrying, becoming depressed or anxious about your situation...try a few of these de-mind spin tips:

1. First of all accept that you are not alone. You can be absolutely sure that most people are worrying about something - maybe not the same thing that you are worrying about- but something this holiday season, just like you.

2. Second, take a minute and breathe. Ask yourself right now if you are alright, just right now in this very moment. Not tomorrow, or in the future or yesterday, but right now, are you ok? alive? breathing? This is an important question to ask because, often the pain of the holiday season comes to us because of our worries...and worries are most always about the future or the past. Worries about what the holidays have been like in the past, and are not now. Or what the holidays will be like this year- worries and anxieties usually exist in the present -----but are almost always about the future and or the past.

Another way to take yourself out of the worries or "mind spin" is by changing your focus. #3 and #4 are hands on mind tools:

3. Mindfully take three deep breaths. Take three slow deep breaths and pay attention only to your breath for just 3 full breaths---following the sensation of the breath the entire time.

4. Another option: Go outside or look out a window and focus fully on every detail of the object you are looking at. If it's a tree, what color is it? What about the leaves? Describe the tree bark. How tall is the tree, can you see the roots, how is it sitting in the ground etc.? Focus your mind fully on describing the object. Spend a few minutes on this.