5 Simple Tips for Creating Bliss During the Holidays

Christmas cookiesHoliday shopping mall madness, the stress of picking the perfect gift, constant food temptations, loneliness and an overpacked schedule are just a few common stressors that can cause you to feel less than blissful during the holiday season. We at myWhloleLife want to help you experience more bliss this season, not only because it’s a wonderful feeling, but also because it will reduce stress and anxiety levels, make you less likely to give into sabotaging cravings and habits, and help you kick-off 2017 feeling healthy and happy. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled 5 tips that you can use to create more bliss not only this holiday season but throughout the year!

Practice Gratefulness

Researchers have consistently found a strong link between gratefulness and happiness.[1] Being grateful helps you feel more positive emotions and better deal with adversity, it also improves your health and strengthens your relationships.[2] Gratefulness can be applied to your past, present and future and two simple ways to cultivate it, include keeping a daily gratitude log and expressing gratitude towards others.

Try Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using essential oils extracted from plants to enhance physical and psychological wellbeing.[3] Try ylang ylang or bergamot to lower blood pressure, stress and anxiety; clary sage to fight depression and induce bliss; lavender to promote calmness and relaxation; and citrus scents such as sweet orange, lime or grapefruit to boost energy and mood.[4] You can utilize the power of these scents by using an oil diffuser, adding 5-7 drops to bath water or adding them to massage oils.

Practice Yoga

Although we would all benefit from regular meditation, most of us just can’t find the time (or desire) to commit to it. Yoga offers a solution because it combines exercise with a focus on the breath, a mind body connection and meditation. Practicing yoga regularly can help release euphoric endorphins, lower stress and anxiety, enhance sleep, boost happiness levels and may even help you heal past emotional wounds, so that you can experience bliss on a more regular basis![5] Yoga classes vary widely between teachers and styles, but there really is something for everyone; so if you’ve gone in the past and haven’t enjoyed it, try experimenting with other studios/teachers.

Balance Blood Sugar

Blood sugar imbalances are not just for diabetics or people who eat unhealthy/imbalanced diets. A number of other factors including stress, allergies, adrenal fatigue and thyroid disorders can also put you on a blood sugar rollercoaster and cause a slew of symptoms including irritability, exhaustion, foggyheadedness , insomnia, and moodiness — none of which are conducive to bliss! To balance your blood sugar, avoid sugars and simple carbs, eat breakfast and something small every 3 hours, exercise regularly, identify and remove allergenic foods, and actively reduce stress levels.

Sleep Better

Overpacked holiday schedules often cause sleep to take a back burner, and lets be honest, keeping your cool when you’re exhausted is a whole lot more challenging then when you’re well-rested! Make sleep a priority by practicing good sleep hygiene which includes avoiding caffeine and other stimulants, abstaining from spicy food before bed, exercising regularly (but not right before bed), and exposing yourself to natural light during the day (which helps regulate the sleep-wake schedule). You can also enhance sleep by making your bedroom more conducive to it — try keeping it cool, dark and quite (or using a fan to drown out noise) and keeping the TV and other electronics out of the bedroom.[6]

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References:

[1] http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
[2] http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
[3] http://info.achs.edu/blog/depression-and-anxiety-can-essential-oils-help
[4] http://info.achs.edu/blog/depression-and-anxiety-can-essential-oils-help
[5] http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/11/yoga.aspx
[6] http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips