Mindfulness has been receiving a lot of positive press over the past several years. When you think of this word, what comes to mind? In the February 2015 issue of the magazine the editor takes a look at clarifying this power packed word. Barry Boyce shares, "One of the first things to clarify is that the word is doing double duty. For one, it refers to an innate quality or way of being we all have access to that allows us to be fully present, attending to the moment, deeply engaged and yet at peace. Mindfulness also refers to techniques that train our minds to be that way more often. Understanding the difference between the practice and the innate quality is vital. If we don't, it becomes far too easy to think mindfulness is something possessed by experts and conferred by them on others."
The magazine is treasury of tips and thoughtful practices that might enhance ones ability to be in present moment awareness. One of the tips that I thoroughly enjoyed was entitled, Winding Down and Falling Asleep. How many of us can raise both hands at the thought of sleeping after an action packed day? We are modern day superheroes minus capes and X-ray vision goggles. We live in a world that is electronically stimulating and constantly bombarding us with bigger and better ways to connect. We hop into our beds at night still buzzing with connections and the last minute email or game of Candy Crush. According to Shelby Freedman Harris a Clinical Psychologist and Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program in New York, there are 5 tips to help us wind down at night.
1. Dim the lights 1 hour before bed
2. Avoid looking at anything with a screen- You heard the lady, put away your electronic devices- the light from the screens can keep you alert and awake.
3. Ten minutes before bedtime, begin a focused mindfulness exercise- she shares a quick exercise in the magazine.
4. If your mind begins to wander, notice that it wandered and get yourself back on track.- stop judging yourself, just get back on track.
5. Get in bed and focus on your breath!
If you struggle with cultivating mindfulness in your everyday life, or would enjoy more support and tips through this process, make sure you check out:
May your day be full or presence...it is truly the most amazing present one can give themselves!
May you Sweetly Seek:)