As we move into the Winter season (although sunny here in California), family gatherings are commencing to celebrate holidays and religious observances taking place. But for some, getting together for the holidays with family can be very stressful. Particularly if members haven’t seen each other in awhile, or perhaps situations occurred in the past that caused tension or discord, an upcoming family gathering can be met with great anxiety.
According to Dr. Marlynn Wei, the practice of mindfulness can help to bring calm and reduce anxiety. Being fully present in the moment can help. In her recent article in Psychology Today, she explains that mindfulness is about being present in the moment – what’s happening “now” – both internally and externally, and has been shown to reduce stress in relationships, increase empathy, and reduce internal stress and anxiety.
Healthcare professionals at The Elizabeth Hospice also agree that active listening is an essential part of effective communication between family members and loved ones. Clearing your mind of other distractions and focusing on who you are with and what is being said at that moment can bring greater awareness, understanding, and meaningful connectedness with those you are with.
These tips can help to make your family gathering a time of joy, comfort, and fulfillment.