Insomnia always seems to strike at the worst time. You may find yourself staring at the alarm clock, stressed and anxious about not being asleep as well as the upcoming day.
According to Shelby Freeman Harris, Psy. D at YouBeauty.com, learning the art of mindfulness can change the relationship you have with shut-eye–and you can work on it throughout the day. The goal is to focus on the moment, instead of being stressed with worry about the past or future. You want to be conscious of each breath as you relax and let sleep do all the work.
Work your way up: Don’t take on the pressure of trying to keep your mind clear for long periods of time immediately; it can be a tough mental exercise. Try being mindful for seconds at a time, then work your way up to 5 minutes, then 10.
Practice mindfulness during simple moments: If you are out getting a manicure or waiting for an appointment, take a minute to focus on relaxing and clearing mental space. You mind may wander back to what’s on your to-do list plenty of times, but don’t judge yourself harshly. Just use it as an opportunity to develop the skill of realizing that you aren’t relaxing and get back to clearing your head.
Eat mindfully: Often times when you are eating you are watching TV, talking to others, working, or even texting. Practice being mindful by focusing on your food, notice the colors, textures, smell and shapes of what’s on your plate. As you take a bite really take in the flavors to keep you in the present and not stress about goals hanging over your head. This technique is also a great weight loss tool, as it keeps you conscious of how much food you are eating.
Remember to practice, practice, and practice: Keep trying to be mindfulness in various situations throughout your day. Focus on the noises around you, the pictures in a room as you wait or describe the colors in your scenery. The more you practice, the more you’ll strengthen your ability.
There is no better time to get started practicing being mindful like the present. Take a few moments to be mindful, eventually you’ll start to crave those moments and relax without thinking about it so much!