I remember feeling really stressed before my own wedding, mainly about the weather that I had no control over. Looking back I wish I had taken time to calm myself down and therefore enjoy the process and planning more. Also the day itself went so fast so I wish I had taken more time to relax with my new husband and to enjoy it. My biggest piece of advice for any bride and groom is to enjoy the day together, notice the small things, the important things and to do this you need to be able to see them in the first place. This is why I am so pleased to share this Mindful Wedding blog with you today, written by Sheila from Attuned Success.
I expect almost everyone reading this will have heard of mindfulness. But you may well be wondering why on earth it should be linked to weddings? Mindfulness is a way of being able to ground yourself in the present moment and has been shown to be very effective in reducing stress and worry and in helping people feel greater satisfaction and happiness. So here are 5 reasons why adding some mindfulness to you wedding could be proverbial icing on the cake of a brilliant day that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Weddings can be stressful
Although they are essentially happy occasions that will usually have been planned with much care and considerations, often months or even years in advance, there are always some stresses. Relatives that maybe don’t mix often, ‘timings’ that can make some of the details tough, the fact that any event rarely goes exactly to plan and if you are having a wedding abroad then it may simplify some aspects but complicate others. Mindfulness can offer a way of staying calm in the run up to the big day and if anything should happen to stray a little off the intended path on the day then it will definitely help you cope more easily and you will be much less likely to have a ‘melt-down’.
You can savour every moment
Weddings are one of the days we want to remember happily for the rest of our lives and if you practice even just a few mindful exercises you will notice that it is easier to be ‘in the moment’ especially important on a wedding day when there will be lots of things you could worry about which will distract you form the previous moments in the here and now. When the person you love says their vows, when someone gives a speech, when you exchange rings, share a toast or first dance you want to be ‘in the moment’ not fretting about what might happen next.
It can help you manage your nerves
Not everyone feels nervous but I have certainly spoken to a lot of people who did and who have felt that they couldn’t really enjoy what is essentially their day until either the official part was over with or the speeches, or the first dance or whatever it is that cases your particular nerves. Mindfulness can help with any butterflies or stutters you may be worrying about leaving you free to enjoy your big day.
It will help you deal with any challenges
The hope is that with careful planning there will be no hitches – but we live in the real world and sometimes small things happen that we didn’t intend and they can complicate things a bit. But if you have practiced a bit of mindfulness you will have a strategy at your fingertips that could help you deal with the situation in a calm and collected way which will be better for you and everyone else.
A mindful wedding can help you gain clarity
One of the things I remember very clearly about arranging my wedding was how many decisions there were to be made. It amazed me and many times I felt unsure about what was best or indeed what I really wanted. It is also very easy to be considering so many other people’s wants and feelings that it can be easy to overlook or even know what you really want yourself. Developing a regular habit of mindfulness can make it much easier to be clear about what you really want and you’ll be in a much better position to discuss it calmly with other.
How on earth do you start?
Mindfulness is very simple, needs no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Obviously, I wouldn’t leave it until the big day to start so just this simple exercise every day for a week or so and see if you can notice the difference. There are lots of books, websites and apps to help you so this is really just a ‘taster
A few deep breaths
Find somewhere quiet, turn off any distractions and decide to give yourself a few moments. You deserve this, however busy you are. At first it can help to set a timer for just 2- 3 minutes. Sit comfortably on the floor or a chair and take a deep breath. Feel it filling your lungs and feel your ribcage rise. Then breathe out. Some people find it helps to count so maybe in for 8 and out for 8 – adjust the numbers o that it is comfortable for you – you want full breaths that don’t feel rushed. Try just to concentrate on the breath, the feel as air goes in through your nose and out through your mouth. Thoughts will come into your mind but that’s fine just notice it then go back to concentrating on your breath – don’t judge yourself, like anything it will take time to learn. Even after the first few times people often feel a lot calmer. So keep practising and get ready to enjoy your special day.
Thanks to Sheila from Attuned Success who offers coaching which can help you with this. And remember, weddings are fun so take the time to breathe and enjoy it.
Images are by Natalie J Weddings from a 1950s wedding we featured.