I’ve scheduled a time out in the morning for to do a little breath-work and a gratitude practice. It has been amazing to see the difference in the mornings that I skip the practice and the days I will myself out of bed for it. I’ve noticed also how it has helped me roll with all the holiday festivities without feeling as tired or frustrated as in the past. Actually this season has been amazingly different and I’m attributing a lot to my morning practice.
I think many times we try to only practice meditation and other coping skills when we feel stress. Our goal may be peace but our focus is actually on the stressful event. It is what is prompting our practice. When you are able to make the shift and allow something else prompt your meditation or mindfulness practice then you will make more progress during the stressful times. I think the key is practicing as much peacefulness as possible and to do that you need to also practice when you are not very stressed. When we get well attuned and use to having a peaceful moment it’s much easier to take that feeling of peace and apply it to other situations.
What I have learned is that using breath-work and mindfulness techniques to deal with stressful situations does work but the effects of the practice is not nearly as beneficial if you only use them in a stressful situation. It is like playing an instrument only a few times a year, you may be able to play a song but it won’t necessarily be pretty or easy. However as with anything when you practice over and over; when it comes time to really perform, it will be much easier and successful.