Stress Less in the Lead Up to Christmas

I have a rule when it comes to Christmas: My birthday comes first! 

In mid November I celebrate another trip around the sun and until that day Christmas gets short shrift. Once the birthday is done however, it's on like Donkey Kong: the fun, the festivities, the fretting and the financial collapse.

This week I was thrilled to  break my 'no Christmas pre-birthday' rule to contribute to the Woman's Day 'Keep You Cool at Christmas' guide. It's a week-by-week guide to staying Zen during the pre-Christmas chaos.

How I justify 10 minutes of meditation a day.

In an increasingly scheduled life (work, parenting, community, health, domestics... you know the drill) it's hard to find 10 minutes to myself. 

If you've read about the myriad benefits of meditation but still find it tough to find 10 minutes to yourself, here's how I do it.

Why your brain doesn't want to you to look on the bright side.

We’re often entreated to ‘Look on the bright side’ and ‘Think positively’ when life is treating us poorly. ‘It could be worse…’ we're told. Well yes it could, but that doesn’t make me feel better.

Humans are wired to focus on difficulties and challenges. We see the bad before we see the good. We give more weight to negative experiences than to positive ones. In fact some researchers suggest that we pay up to three times more attention to our ‘negative’ feelings than we do to our positive emotions.

Why are we such sad sacks?

Why we worry about calamity and crisis (and how to stop.)

Worry will not change the outcome.
Yet we do it anyway. It makes no sense.

This is your crazy brain at work.

Worry is a natural response to thinking about the future and anticipating events. Some of us are wired up to do it more than others. When we worry excessively and uncontrollably we're heading into anxiety territory and that needs professional support.