It's common for people to joke about the Bridezilla who can appear in a friend or family member planning their wedding. This person is so narrowly focused on creating their idea of a perfect day that any rational thought of anything else goes out the window.
Sheena Bounsanga is a mindfulness coach, certified reflexologist and a reiki practitioner. Basically she's a one stop zen shop! I spoke to her to find how out how this practice could be incorporated into planning your wedding.
Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment without judgment. How often during your wedding planning process have you found yourself freaking out about the little things or maybe even the number of things you need to do?
Planning a wedding can be stressful, there are lots of decisions to make! It's impossible to make every decision at the same time, so it makes sense to break them down into areas. Focus on one thing at a time so you avoid overwhelm.
Stress train to Wedding central
You might be worried about whether you picked the right venue, dress, the list goes on. You're wasting time and energy on what might happen. And if a crisis occurs, on what has already happened. Neither of which you have any control over!
Stress and Overwhelm occur when our brains can't catch up with how we're feeling. When you are in either of those states, the emotional storm takes over.
If you are being reactive to a situation rather than responsive you are more likely to be short or snarky in your responses. If you have a clear mind you can respond rather than react.
With the right tools in place to help you when you hit a high stress situation you will be able to snap back and move towards a calm state more quickly.
How can I become a blissed out Bride?
Sheena's tips are practical and designed to be easily incorporated into your daily life not based around hours of silent meditation or sitting on a cushion repeating an Ohm!
She recommends finding calm moments throughout your normal day to day routine so that when a 'crisis' situation occurs you will be in a much better place to return your body to it's natural calm state because it wont be an alien experience.
If you think you don't have time - you're wrong!
If you have time to go up or downstairs, or sit at a red light then you can add this practice into your day and you will be equipped to be calmer rather than in fight or flight mode.
There are a few simple things you can do:
Take three big deep breaths, you don't have to worry about inhaling or exhaling for any particular length of time. This will send a signal to your brain to relax
Anxiety is your body sending a message to your brain to prepare the fight or flight response because it believes you are in danger. Breathing is a natural approach to reduce these sensations.
Finger mantras - touch each of the tips of your fingers with your thumb as you repeat the 4 parts of the mantra: My favorite is the first one but you can add any other four word phrases that are specific to you:
Thumb to little finger - I
Thumb to ring finger - AM
Thumb to middle finger - O
Thumb to first finger - K
I AM O K
Be Here Right Now
I Am Just Fine
If you can do these when you are in a calm state then when a crisis hits and you use them, you will be able reduce your stress levels far more quickly.
See, I told you it was easy!
It's all about Perspective - Life will throw you curve balls
But it's how you deal with them that will determine the sort of experience you have. Life is what you make it.
During Sheena's outdoor wedding ceremony loud punk music could be heard coming from a skate boarding competition taking place in a local park. They forgot the shoes and fairy wings they had purchased for their 18 month old flower girl and they also managed to forget the marriage license!
Any one of these situations could have been made into a huge drama and been allowed to have a negative impact on their day. Instead, they chose to joke that actually the punk music was the song of their first dance, which still makes them laugh when they hear it now. Their daughter wore a bright pair of sandals which still look cute in the pictures and then later in the evening when they got home they signed the license and everything was finally made official!
Sheena and her husband made a conscious decision to focus on the important part of the day for them, the love they felt for one and other and being present.
Like most things, if you do the work....
Doing this work is the same as doing a body fitness boot camp, you wouldn't expect to attend one session and immediately reach your body goal. Its something that has to be developed over time.
If you can approach working out your mind in the same way then you can be mentally prepared as well as physically.
You will start to see results in a very short space time and it's an easy life skill to master which you can still be using long after the 'I Do'.