Ok mindful friends, listen up, because this one could make or break your holiday season. Here’s the scenario: You have your shopping list and you’re out the door, prepared to be an efficiency king or queen. Then, oops, you need gas. Long line number one. You get through the gas line, but now you need to merge on to the interstate on the other side of the street. Aggressive drivers do not slow down for you, but instead lay on their horns. You make it on to the interstate but you’re slightly annoyed and your heart is pounding. You make it to the mall, one half-hour behind schedule with a hefty dose of adrenaline coursing through your system but you’re determined to make it through your list. First stop, the Apple Store to get your son that Itouch, and oh, you’ve got to be kidding me…. the apple geniuses are all busy and your number 15 in the cue…. and oh –@t! you forgot your 20 percent off coupon at home!
Perhaps your heart starting beating faster just reading the above paragraph.
Here’s today’s letting go exercise: Let go of expecting your life to be hassle-free. Here’s how to practice this.
1. Make fun of your sense of entitlement – Do you ever catch yourself experiencing annoyance at completely ridiculous things? For instance, “We’ve been sitting at this table for 3 minutes and nobody has waited on us yet.” “I can’t believe how slow the internet is today!” Counter your entitlement by practicing gratitude: “Look at how beautifully they have decorated this room for the holidays.” “I’m so thankful for all the gifts technology has given me this year.” Gratitude neutralizes small daily annoyances and lightens your mood.
2. Build in extra time, think of your to-do list as an ever-evolving adventure– at the very least, it is faulty thinking to expect that all the lights will be green upon your demand, and a parking spot will magically appear right at the entrance of your destination. If you don’t get everything done on your list, ask yourself, “what is the worst thing that will happen?”
3. Put a new cognitive spin on waiting in line – What is waiting in line all about anyway? a hassle, or a chance to be mindful and de-stress? Use time in cues to focus on your breath. When it’s your turn up at the counter, express compassion and respect for the person waiting on you. This will give you and the person serving you an instant sense of well-being.
4. Add mindful movement into your trip – At every stop, get out of your car and stretch your arms overhead. While waiting in line circle your neck. Never underestimate the affects of cummulative stress. Notice how you fee at the end of the day. Is you body sore? If you are too shy to do a full sun saluation in a public place, promise yourself 10 minutes of gentle stretching every night this month.
How does mindfulness help you manage holiday hassles? keep us posted.
We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness everyday!