We all know the feeling of being too stressed to sleep, lying awake in bed thinking about the impending to-do list and busy work schedules. In 2018, the fast pace of life and commitments to work, family and friends make ‘switching off’ a seemingly impossible task. But prolonged periods of stress, combined with a lack of quality sleep, can have a serious impact on your mental health, leading to problems like depression and anxiety. So, finding a way to calm the mind, destress and get a better night’s sleep is hugely important. That’s where mindfulness steps in.
As defined by mindful.org, mindfulness is “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
Mindfulness can be practiced in different types of ways. Traditionally, it involves meditation - focussing your full attention on your breath. As you bring your attention to your breathing, you observe your thoughts as they come and go into your mind.
But you don’t just have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed in meditation to be mindful. You can notice the sensations of the world around you when walking to work or eating a meal. This may sound minor, but it trains the body to switch off autopilot and see things with a new perspective.
When you’re struggling to sleep due to a busy mind, mindfulness can step in. Andy Puddicombe, co-founder of Headspace, the globally-renowned mindfulness website and app, told the Huffington Post: “Your familiarity with mindfulness and your ability to step back and observe the thoughts and emotions a little more clearly will be critical in turning a ‘reaction’ into a ‘response’.”
In short, mindfulness can help to calm your mind, which in turn reduces stress and helps you to get a better night’s kip.
So, if you’re struggling to get to sleep as a result of stress, perhaps consider introducing mindfulness practices into your day and your pre-bed routine.
Content supplied by Saymor Furnishers.