Today is one of those great days when I'm very mindful of savoring the moment. As each gift is opened, I am fully present, enjoying the smiles on people's faces, the music we're playing, and the feeling of love in the room. I'm paying attention to details, so I can more fully savor the memories later. If my mind wanders to other less-happy topics, I gently bring it back to the present, happy moments. In a way, the day is like an exercise in mindfulness. This is a great way to spend the day; everyday stresses seem to have less staying power, a feeling of gratitude is palpable, and there's no time for anxiety or rumination.
Happily, this feeling--this state--can be experienced on days other than just Christmas, and can have a similarly positive effect. That's because, although there won't be gifts opened each day, the best present is staying in the present. (Like that? Hehe.) Research on mindfulness shows that this practice can reduce stress and bring many other benefits for health and well-being as well. And it's easy.
Today, whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I invite you to savor the day, to stay in the present as much as possible. And tomorrow, I invite you to do it again. Work your way up to creating a new habit for the new year, whether you practice mindfulness for a few minutes here and there, or try to maintain the state for hours at a time. And tell me if it has an effect on your experience. The following resources should help:
Mindfulness Resources from Elizabeth Scott