Unwrapping the present

At Christmas time, sometimes we may forget, as cliché as it sounds, the true meaning of Christmas. Here at Social Sense we’re focusing on “unwrapping the present” by putting aside the materialistic items, the food and the drinks.

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There are many different ways to feel “present” around Christmas, and this can vary depending on the individual. Here are some ideas to help you take time to appreciate and be present in the moment:

Being Grateful

Sometimes it can be all too easy to forget to be grateful for the people around us, the love, the peace and blessings we receive throughout the year. It is important to show our gratitude, for ourselves and others.

“Thank you is the key that opens the door to instant happiness.”

Focusing on the 4 A’s of Gratitude:

  1. Appreciation– Being appreciative of the gifts we give and receive, and for all that we are blessed with around Christmas.
  2. Approval– Give praise and approval for every occasion and for every accomplishment – no matter the size. This could be a family member who has cooked Christmas dinner, or to a loved one for doing an amazing job despite the busy and stressful time of Christmas. Remember, whatever you praise gets repeated.
  3. Admiration– Compliment people on their accomplishments in work and private life. Make someone feel happier and good this Christmas.
  4. Attention– Listen patiently, thoughtfully and without interrupting. True listeners hear what’s being said to them. By expressing your gratitude to others in this way you increase your own happiness.

“The most selfish thing you can do in this world is help someone else, why? Because of the feeling it can give you.”

Practice Meditation

During meditation, brain scans see increased activity in regions directly correlated with decreased anxiety and depression. Meditation has been found to improve memory, self-awareness and goal setting. Setting goals is important as it can help trigger new behaviours, help guide your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. Setting a goal like being “present” can instantly have an impact this Christmas.

Meditation can reduce stress through the controlling of your breathing whilst also controlling the variability of your heart-rate. A great free meditation can be found online at: (http://www.mindful-me.co.uk/learners/)

Find Balance

It is important over Christmas that you find balance when visiting friends and family, whilst ensuring that you do not overwhelm yourself with trying to fit everything in. Ensure you to take time for yourself allowing for a break to recharge in time for the new year.

It can also be hard being around family, as we might prefer to have our own space. Find a way of getting that space, even by doing simple things such as going on a walk, going to the gym or going to a café by yourself.

Whilst there are many positives to social media, it also comes with a lot of negatives such as social isolation and sleep deprivation. Make sure you find a balance between spending time on technology and social media, with actually being present in the real world.

Happy holidays and enjoy unwrapping your present!

by Charlotte Yiatrou

Digital Marketing Apprentice

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