How Meditation Can Help You De-Stress During Wedding Planning
While fun and exciting, planning a day that's reflective of you and your spouse-to-be has its stressful moments. Pile on expectations of parents, your new in-laws and friends and the stress can go from manageable to overwhelming. When anxieties start to get the best of you, it's worth taking five minutes to sit quietly, be still, refocus your energy and take several full, long breaths—otherwise known as meditation. "Not only can a meditation practice help you reduce and prevent stress while planning your wedding, it can help you truly savor each moment of your big day," says Colleen Carey, a yoga instructor and wedding officiant in New York City. "Practicing meditation is practicing presence and awareness—it's learning to slow down your thoughts, feelings and experience."
Here are six things practicing meditation can help you do, so you can shape your wedding into the day you've always wanted and enjoy the process too.
1. Take a step back.
Organizing your dream guest list is fun, but add in your future mother-in-law's huge family and the price per head and this happy time can turn stressful. “Meditation can help you take a step back and enjoy the big picture with a bit of detachment," says Lynne Goldberg, a meditation coach in Toronto and founder of OMG. I Can Meditate! You'll also be able to deal with others' perspectives a little easier. After all, getting to know how each other's families communicate (and realizing your own biases and perspectives) can be helpful as you navigate all of the relationship dynamics you encounter while planning.
2. Make better choices.
It can be hard to think clearly and make decisions that are true to your vision (even if they seem easy!), especially when everyone is adding their two cents. But if you take five minutes a day to meditate, your mind has a chance to settle down. "When you shake a snow globe, all you see are flakes of snow. But when you let it sit for a minute, it clears up and you can see the landscape underneath—the true picture. Much in the same way, meditation gives us a bit more clarity," Goldberg says.
Clarity also leads the way to creativity. With a clear mind, complicated topics can be met with innovative fixes. "When the time comes to make the often-complex seating arrangements, for example, your brain will light up with all sorts of ingenious solutions," says Will Schneider, a corporate mindfulness coach in New York City.
3. Remain in the present.
It's no revelation that planning your wedding is all about the future— everything leads up to that day, which leads up to your life as a married couple. It's so easy to get caught up in the anticipation of those exciting times in the future that the moments you're experiencing right here, right now are often forgotten. "We've all heard from brides and grooms about how fast the wedding day comes and goes—how quickly all that future planning turns into a memory," Goldberg says. "Meditating during this time will help you enjoy it as it's happening."
4. Have a daily reflection of intent.
An intent, which is a positive principle you set for how you want your surroundings and yourself to be, is a valuable tool when it comes to wedding planning. For example, some intents could be: Approach any challenge with a calm and positive manner, be present and mindful in the decision-making process, and look for the best in others. "What is the attitude and energy you want going into your wedding?" says Tara Brach, a meditation teacher and wedding officiant based in the Washington, DC, area. "Do you want to be openhearted? Mindful? Forgiving? Clear? Focused? At ease? Each morning, take a few moments to reflect on your intention in moving through your wedding planning."
5. Connect with your other half.
Meditating doesn't have to be a solo activity—when you both have time, you and your soon-to-be spouse can take a few quiet minutes to recharge. "First, meditate together for 5 to 20 minutes to relax and quiet your minds, and then take turns sharing whatever is challenging, exciting or important to you," Brach says. "Speak and listen from the heart." This ensures you're both being honest and that you're on the same page throughout the entire process—no matter what situations may arise.
6. Let go of resentment.
When you're knee-deep in dress fittings and seating charts, it often takes just one word or look from a family member or your fiancé to set you off or make you feel anxious (we've all been there!). Meditation can help release any feelings of resentment. "Bring your attention and breath to whatever part of your body feels agitated, angry or vulnerable," Brach says. "Take a minute to breathe in healing energy, and when you breathe out, release your unpleasant feelings." And if you're feeling anxious, quickly inhale and exhale.
Ready to begin? Here are our favorite meditation apps to try!
Headspace: Beginners will love Headspace's 10-minute meditations.
Omvana: Omvana's meditations can be tailored to your stress levels.
Calm: Calm's seven-day guided mindfulness meditations have different intents.
Take a Break!: These guided meditations feature music and nature audio.