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With Christmas fast approaching it's important to keep calm and stay in tune with ease and joy. Helpful to this is living life fully in the present moment rather than having our minds rush forward to the next job on the list to do, place to be, person to see or activity to undertake.

It’s always a busy time of year with Christmas fast approaching and the never ending lists of things needing done and associated pressures we put ourselves under. Particularly now, but in fact relevant always, is to keep calm and stay in tune with ease and joy. Helpful to this is living in the moment rather than having our minds rush forward to the next job on the list to do, place to be, person to see or activity to undertake.

Some of my other blog posts have also talked about the importance of this and so I thought it might be useful here instead to just outline some ways which can help us focus on now and the present moment rather than the future and the stresses and action of that time.

Activities which require our focus and attention can help. Dancing, drawing, singing, painting and gardening require our senses and energies to be on the task in hand. We are connected to what needs to be done and are often in that moment of doing or being.

I have recently started enjoying audible books and found it quite impossible to be multitasking or distracted by something else when listening. Listening to music, really listening to the lyrics or the beat or the notes is relevant too. As is reading, perhaps through focused attention on the words and meaning, not allowing other thoughts or concentration elsewhere.

What mindful activities do you undertake to help you live fully in the moment? Perhaps playing a sport or undertaking a new learning experience, studying for an exam or watching an interesting documentary are some options to consider. Find the things that work for you to allow you to be engaged and concentrate on the moment in hand. This helps us really appreciate that time truly.

If you’re struggling to find ways or don’t know how to start, support is available through guided practices. There are many helpful Mindfulness Apps available on line or to download, for example Calm, Headspace, Stop Breathe and Think, and Buddhify. You Tube clips can help provide ten or more minutes of support to stop us in our tracks and if the support of others is best for you, try a gentle breathing based yoga or Pilates exercise class. There are a number of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction techniques and classes on offer, usually positioned as a two hour session weekly for 6-8 weeks. These may incorporate meditation, mindful body scanning and and some other mindful tasks led by a qualified practitioner.

Being able to understand our thoughts and emotions and connect with living currently paves the way for a calmer, more content and happier life and the benefits of better emotional and physical wellbeing and positive results really work if we are prepared to put the focus and effort in.

I hope too that you have been able to read this mindfully and without distraction. Perhaps that’s a first insight. Let me know.

Wishing you a Mindful and joyful festive season.

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