Presents or Presence?

This year during the holidays think about offering your presence…
A study in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, suggests that small acts of kindness, not grand overtures, make people feel most loved and supported.

In any other year, fatigue from shopping, spending, and travel, may be what most Americans describe as stressful instead of magical. This year, additional stressors of the unknown, inability to physically be together, feelings of isolation, and worried emotions also may be prevalent.

“During the holidays, anxiety rises, making it harder to remain present with ourselves and others. However, the power of spending time with another person is a gift we can give at any moment,” says Dr. Carla Naumburg, a mindfulness coach and social worker in Newton, Mass.  Ways to cultivate presence include cutting back on social media (which helps limit distractions), getting plenty of rest, and taking a pause (and remembering to breathe).  “For everyone, breathing is a small but powerful act that can keep us connected to ourselves by shifting our awareness to the present moment.”

According to The American Institute of Stress, focused breathing elicits the body’s “relaxation response,” slowing one’s heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and helping muscles relax. This physical process aids in repairing an overactive nervous system, helping us to enter a calmer physical and emotional state.  We encourage you to take a pause, concentrate on breath and then give the gift of your presence to those around you.  Presents come and go, but your presence can forever leave memories.


Talk It Out

Join us for free mental well-being sessions led by Community Leaders, Healers and Counselors. We’ll talk about stress, coping with change and related topics impacting communities in Hennepin County. Learn more and register today.