Practicing Mindfulness can be a form of Gratitude

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Practicing Mindfulness can be a form of Gratitude

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Rather than focusing on one day of celebration or a particular reason or season to give thanks, I strive to do so the other 364 days of the year by practicing mindfulness when at all possible .  For many, this time of year can cause people to go into panic and stress mode as they are coming off of the residual sugar buzz from Halloween and gearing up for Thanksgiving and the other Holidays.  Being mindful can be a bigger challenge as a result.

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When someone takes the time to tell me me a story or about their day, what they are feeling, what they need or how much they care, I want them to know I appreciate them and the time they are taking to share their thoughts with me through mindful listening.  An example of mindful listening: Rather than being overpowered by the instinct and desire to be distracted by what my response will be to what they are saying, I put forward a  concentrated effort on focusing my awareness on the present moment when listening and hearing while calmly acknowledging and accepting both mine and the person speaking  feelings, thoughts, and physical cues.

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 Being a mindful Holiday dinner guest or host/hostess can be achieved
by practicing mindful hearing and listening. 
 Perhaps someone is too shy to ask for you not to bring your favorite dessert to their house because they or another guest are struggling with their weight or dietary health restrictions.  Being mindful of what they  may have shared (recently or previously) may prompt you to provide a healthier alternative or healthier version.  If that person will be a guest in your home, it is something to take into consideration also.  Naturally, we cannot please everyone, however, in addition to listening and hearing with mindfulness being mindful of your health and wellness can go a long way in bringing or serving a tasty and healthy dish or meal for the meal in question.
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 Approaching the holiday season with mindfulness and gratitude for all that you do have, you can perhaps be able to enjoy the holidays without as much stress as you’ve experienced in the past. Aim for progress not perfection in all your celebrations, not getting caught up in all the advertising that makes it look like creating huge celebrations should be a breeze and that you are less than successful if you don’t have the time to create such elaborate get parties. The most important part of all celebrations are the people we share them with, not the elaborateness of the decorations. So enjoy your loved ones, be grateful for the time you can spend together, and don’t stress out over the details.
Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

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