If difficult feelings crop up to bite you this Christmas, rather than eating and drinking them 'away', try meeting them face to face, so to speak, with this simple healing meditation that you can do at home (when everyone else is watching Doctor Who).
It so often happens in the winter holiday season that we go 'home' to relatives or loved ones loaded not just with presents but all sorts of expectations, hopes and unfulfilled longings from the past. The early darkness and cold weather seem to conspire to bring up our deeper, darker layers of feelings.
Rather than push away the difficult feelings only to have them come back to haunt you another day, try this decide-your-own-length meditation by Aneesha Dhillon who's been leading body and breath-based therapy groups all over the world for 30 years.
Though anyone can try it, it's best suited to those with some experience of therapy/working with their emotions.
Preparation and tips
Be alone in a warm, dimly lit room. Light a candle, and put on some suitable 'soft' background music that touches your emotions.
Feel and express whatever needs to be released from your body. Move whatever is energetically stuck inside, especially around the heart, throat, and belly - all common places for holding onto unexpressed hurts.
The stress-soothing stages
Let each stage be either five minutes, 10 or 15 - whatever fits you. The key thing is that they're all equal in length, totaling 20, 40, or 60 minutes.
Stage 1: Standing, shaking the whole body gently.
Let everything be loose and stress leave your system.
Stage 2: Sitting or standing and laughing out loud for no reason.
If tears are there, cry, weep, grieve for no reason; don't force anything. And keep the body moving, let your feelings change; either laughter or tears.
Stage 3: Sitting, swaying like seaweed in the ocean.
Hug yourself and/or a pillow; softly say out loud whatever your heart needs to say, to whomever.
Stage 4: Lie down on your back, relax, be still.
Simply watch thoughts, feelings and sensations, as if they were all your friends, coming to reveal something to you about yourself.
Did you try this? How was it? Let us know below.