Check Your Health: Mindfulness during the holidays

Check Your Health - Mindfulness during the holidays
(KUTV) —Mindfulness is the mental practice of being present in a moment and being deliberately aware of our inner thoughts and surroundings in a nonjudgmental and accepting way. It has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep, and improve cognitive functioning says Stephanie Wilkinson, Lifestyle Intervention Coordinator at the Utah Department of Health. The holidays can be a very stressful time so by applying mindfulness strategies it can help reduce stress, while bringing a calming and attentive approach to your holiday season.

Mindfulness is accomplished by not focusing on the future or past which can result in not participating in our present lives fully due to distraction. It gives the individual the ability to respond to the events happening in their life instead of simply reacting to them. This is accomplished by acknowledging the feelings and identifying the source of those feelings instead of diverting attention to other tasks.

To avoid some additional holiday stress being aware and mindful of our consumption habits, whether it be food or shopping, can be helpful. Questions you can ask yourself include: Is this a need or is this a want? Am I eating because I’m hungry or am I eating because I’m stressed out? Am I dealing with dif