Prepare Mentally for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Source: GMN Health
It’s that time of year — the holidays! A time when you are supposed to be feeling happy — but are you? Many dread the holiday season. They could be lonely, missing a loved one, or they don’t have the financial means to purchase the presents they want to buy. If you or a loved one are feeling less than happy, here are some suggestions to lift your spirits.
Be grateful — Having an attitude of gratitude can help lighten your energy. Focusing on the positive attracts more good to you. Keeping a daily gratitude journal helps you focus on what’s good in your life.

Go outside to exercise —
Just being in nature can be uplifting. Going outside and taking a walk or run can release certain brain chemicals that create feelings of peace and joy.
Eat whole foods While we wish food could make us happy, certain foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can elevate your mood. The occasional piece of chocolate is also a mood lifter.
Help others — Being in service to others helps you to feel good in the knowing you are doing something positive to help another human being.
Give a hug — When we hug someone oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, is released making us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Hugging is also a natural stress reliever by reducing cortisol, an adrenal hormone, often called the “stress hormone.” Cortisol influences and regulates many of the changes that occur in the body in response to stress.
Listen to uplifting music Music has a healing effect and can lift your spirits. For example: Pharrell Williams’ upbeat song Happy  actually makes a person feel happy. If you’ve had a stressful day, relaxing music can help you feel calmer. Making a playlist of music that relates to happy times could elevate your mood.
Make sure your spine is in proper alignment – Numerous studies support the effectiveness of upper cervical (neck) chiropractic care for depression and anxiety. I know from firsthand experience that if I am out of alignment, it affects my mood and disposition, and I have witnessed many positive transformations in chiropractic patients who were unable to get help elsewhere.
Have better energy — If you are not feeling your best emotionally or physically, you are not functioning at your best. One way to keep your mind and body in harmony is by having Reiki sessions, a practice that helps to improve the energy flow within and around the body. I recently worked with a woman who was grieving and also a caretaker — under so much stress she wasn’t able to heal her emotions. Reiki helped her shed the heaviness she felt and gave her a renewed sense of purpose.

By Heidi Scanlon, director and co-owner of New Jersey School of Reiki (, located at the Freedman Chiropractic Center in East Brunswick.

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