Today we have a favorite contributor on to shell out some valuable advice on managing wedding day stress! Mariah is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and yoga teacher based in the Salt Lake City, UT. She owns a small private therapy practice where she works specifically with young adults navigating significant life transitions (getting married is one of the biggest transitions we go through)! She has spent years studying stress (often in the form of anxiety) and determining ways to help people navigate through it. One of the unique things about her practice is that she uses yoga in combination with mental health therapy to help strengthen the mind body connection. If you notice yourself being overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, reach out, she can help you!
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. On a day as magical as your wedding day you want to be in the present moment and calmly accept whatever might happen.
If you’ve ever experienced a stressful situation (which I am assuming all of you have) you know just how hard it is to stop and think about what is happening directly in that given moment.
Think about how often you are spending time in the past, focusing on what did or didn’t happen, why something turned out a certain way. Contrary, think about how often you are focusing on the future, all the stuff that might happen.
This type of thinking creates stress and anxiety because it takes you away from the raw moment in front of you. When you are spending your energy on the past or projecting it into the future you are missing out on the beauty all around you.
Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. When you are being mindful you are aware of what is going on right in front of you. You might notice the smell of the air, the noise of a friends laugh, the touch of someone giving you a hug, or the sound of the music playing in the background.
Try these tools to help you focus on what is right in front of you on your wedding day (or any day):
Breathe: I know you are thinking DUH, but you would be surprised how often people forget to breathe when they are highly anxious or stressed. I recommend taking 10 big deep breaths all the way into your belly and exhaling out all of your air. As you breathe in imagine bringing in peace, love, and acceptance for what is happening. When you exhale, imagine letting out all of the distraction (stress, anxiety, annoyance, fear, etc.)
Focus on a sense: Take a second to pause and interact with your surroundings. What colors can you notice in front of you? What noises or voices can you here? What specific scent can you smell? How do your feet feel against the ground? This practice allows you to get away from your thoughts and back to the present moment.
Create a Mantra: A mantra is a short phrase or word that holds specific meaning for a situation. I always start my yoga classes or therapy sessions with a mantra to bring purpose and meaning to the experience. An example might be, “You are exactly where you need to be”. I suggest creating a mantra for your wedding day that you frequently repeat to yourself throughout the day.
As always, these skills take practice and can be challenging in any given situation. I suggest you practice on day to day tasks (washing dishes, vacuuming, sitting on the porch, grocery shopping, etc), so that when the day comes you are fully present and ready to soak up the beauty surrounding you.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any further questions.