Hustle and bustle are words that often describe the holiday season. But all of that shopping, entertaining and traveling can leave you feeling stressed and unhappy.
Wendy Soderman, the owner of "Breathe Modern Meditation" in downtown West Palm Beach, says learning how to breathe properly is the key to calming the mind and body.
"Honestly mediation needs re-branding, says Soderman, it's just sitting still and coming back to your breath."
Soderman says first, get out of auto-pilot. She says we often spend the holidays doing things we really don't want to do, like dinner parties we'd rather not attend, or fighting the crowds at the mall. Pay attention to the chaos around you, then find a quiet place where you can sit and focus on your breathing.
"Harvard did a study and found 10 minutes a day, sitting, focusing on your breath and literally letting go of your thoughts and come back to your breath; if you do this for 8 weeks, the brain changes," says Soderman.
She shakes a jar of glitter water to make her point.
"These sparkles represent our thoughts. 60 thousand a day. Mundane. They have nothing of "now" and are robbing you of this holiday."
When you sit and inhale to a count of 7 and exhale to a count of 11 your entire body instantly starts to relax.
"Thoughts don't disappear but they don't take over. You're not going to react you're going to have some space to respond," Soderman says.
For busy people taking 10 minutes out of your day can seem like a lot and Wendy gets that. She's a wife, mom to a quadriplegic son, owner and principal of The IDEAL School with 300 students and 45 teachers. She says focusing on breathing will make you more productive in every aspect of life.
"You can't solve a problem when you're in that craziness. This is when answers to problems come when we're calm."
It's really quite simple. Just breathe.
"So you're strategically calming the mind every day. The more you do it the easier it becomes, it becomes a trait and now you stop reacting to life instead you respond to life.
For more information on Breathe Modern Meditation Contact Wendy Soderman. http://breathemodernmeditation.com/