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6 Ways to Relax While Wedding Planning

6 Ways to Relax While Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding is no cakewalk. You’ve got a million and one details to take care of, family expectations to balance with what you and your partner want, and a budget to watch. The lead-up to the best day of your life can be some of the most stressful months of your life.

Weddings bring together relationships, money, and expectations in a way that can be very stressful. If you’re feeling under the gun, you’re not alone — and you’re not helpless. There are many things you can do to manage your stress and relax while planning your wedding day.

Here are six tips for keeping you relaxed as the big day draws closer.

Identify Sources of Stress

What are the tasks that are most likely to cause you stress? Perhaps the idea of doing the seating chart is most stressful to you, or choosing the favors is. Identify what makes you stressed about that activity and see if you can delegate or eliminate the task from your list. Maybe your partner can choose the favors, or a family member can help you with the seating chart.

Perhaps it’s a relationship rather than a task that is taking your energy. If one of your parents is asserting their opinions too forcefully, or Grandma is calling too often insisting you say the same vows she did when she married Grandpa, see if one of your siblings or other family members can step in to run interference for you.

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Preparation and self-awareness are key to reducing and managing stress. Remember, you’re not alone; you have a partner, friends, and relatives who can help you eliminate the stress you face as you plan your wedding.

Create a Stress-Free Environment

Even small changes to your home and work environment can make a big difference to your stress levels. Consider doing the following to help you feel less stressed:

  • Light perfumed candles and incense, which reduces stress, calms anxieties, and makes you feel better.
  • Place some potted plants on your desk or windowsill, which can lower your blood pressure.
  • Decorate your space in tones of green, blue, and violet, which can make you feel calm and peaceful.
  • Open your blinds to let natural light in, which contributes to wellness.

Your surroundings can have a huge impact on how you feel. Make sure your environment promotes calm and wellness.

Take Care of Your Body and Mind

With the steady stream of things to be done, it’s easy to let taking care of yourself fall to the bottom of the list. Fight the urge to put yourself last, and make sure you’re taking care of both your body and mind.

Take care of your body with regular exercise, whether that’s going to the gym, making time for a sports team, or going for regular walks. You need the stress-busting endorphins that exercise provides.

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It’s equally important to take care of your mind and emotions. Try meditating, even if only for a few minutes each morning, or journal your thoughts to have an outlet for all the emotions you’re feeling. If you’re religious, make an effort to attend religious services and connect with your spiritual side.

Yoga is a particularly good activity to nurture the body, spirit, and mind. Find a class near you or find videos online so you can do it in the comfort of your home.

You’ll look and feel better on your big day if you’re taking care of yourself during the wedding preparation. Even a few minutes of meditation and a brisk walk around the block can make a huge difference if you’re pressed for time.

Schedule Wedding-Free Days

Don’t let the wedding planning overshadow the reason for the wedding – you’re getting married to the person you love. It’s easy for the wedding to take over all the time you spend together.

Schedule time where you focus on connecting with your partner rather than planning the wedding. Go on dinner dates where discussing the wedding is off limits. Spend a day doing something you love doing together, whether that’s watching sports, cooking together, or visiting a museum. Nurture your relationship so it can offer you support and encouragement as you look forward to not only the wedding, but also your lives together.

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Make the same effort to have wedding-free time with your friends and family, too. Those relationships are also important, and you need to stay engaged with your friends and family even as you’re planning your wedding.

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

We already suggested identifying tasks that cause you stress and delegating them to others, but it bears repeating: delegate, delegate, delegate. Delegate tasks that don’t cause you particular stress – you can’t do everything on your own. Get friends and family to run errands, decorate, and make place cards. If you can afford it, consider hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator to help you take things off your plate.

Prioritize the tasks that you absolutely need to do and what you can get others to do. Perhaps you’re not too concerned with the music at the reception but the food is very important to you. Ask your partner or a trusted friend to take care of the set list while you sample desserts.

It’s true that many hands make light work. Be sure to find yourself some extra hands.

Pamper Yourself

Take the time to do something luxurious and decadent for yourself, whatever that may be. Get a massage. Go to the driving range. Schedule a spa day. Sleep in and have a late brunch.

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Think of these activities not as indulgences, but as necessities for staying balanced and relaxed. If it’s not possible to go to the spa, take a bath instead. Find the ways that work for you to relax.

You don’t need to sacrifice your sanity to plan your wedding. By identifying sources of stress, creating a relaxed environment, taking care of your body and mind, scheduling wedding-free days to reconnect with your partner and loved ones, delegating, and pampering yourself, you can stay calm and collected as your big day draws near.

What are some of the ways you stay relaxed as you’re planning your wedding? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via thumb7.shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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