alttagcarlaalpertfunctionalmedicinecoachIf you are new to using mindfulness as a daily practice, you are about to find out how amazing it is for your health and well being. With mindfulness, you focus on the present, only letting your current thoughts enter your mind. You think less about the past and future, and just acknowledge and accept what is happening right now.

This blog post will explain how to use mindfulness for 3 important areas: sleep, stress, and anxiety.

Mindfulness for Sleep
Having an ongoing issue with insomnia may be due to having too much running through your mind during and at the end of the day. You may find that when you lay down you are focused on all the things you did that day, need to do the next day, or ways to solve issues that you have been having. Unfortunately, you need to be able to lay down and fall asleep peacefully in order to tackle all those things the next day. If this sounds like an issue you are having, consider how mindfulness can help you sleep better.

Meditate Before Bed
When most people meditate, as part of a mindfulness routine, they tend to do it in the morning. Though this works for some people, the trick is that other people may not have a lot going on first thing in the morning. As your day progresses, you start taking on more and more issues and that is when you begin to get bogged down.

By meditating before bed, you can focus on those issues and work through them. This allows you to sort things out, come up with a plan, and then go to sleep without the worry and confusion running through your head keeping you awake.

Breathing Exercises
Part of a mindfulness routine is controlled breathing or breathing exercises. These exercises will help you throughout your day when stress arises. The good news is they can also help you at night to relax and fall asleep easily. As you begin controlling your breathing, you will also be controlling your heart rate. Your breathing slows, and so does the heart rate, which in turn helps your body to relax and sleep. If you aren’t already trying your breathing exercises as you lay down, begin doing them. You will see a progressive move towards easier and better sleep.

Mindfulness for Stress
Stress is something that everyone has and comes up in everyone’s daily life. Some days are, of course, worse than others. In most cases, we can handle our daily stress but when the stress keeps piling on it can be difficult to manage. Mindfulness is one way you can manage your stress, recognize the triggers, and work through that stress to remove it from your life and move on with your day. If you aren’t sure how mindfulness will reduce your stress, or even help with it at all, here are a few things to consider.

Work Through What Matters
Stress can come from a variety of areas in your life and unfortunately some of those stresses don’t matter. That is to say that they may matter in the moment, but they are not priorities. One way to reduce your stress with mindfulness is to focus on the items that are important and need your focus versus the things that do not.

An example of this would be having your mind cluttered with what someone said about you or gossip that is affecting your day. These are things that can and need to be reduced from your life because they are causing unnecessary stress. Once these are removed you can focus on the things that do matter like the appointments you have later in the week.

Changing Your Reaction
Often stress is caused from our immediate reaction to the stress or the thing causing the stress. We take in the immediate reaction and let it explode in our minds. This causes a massive amount of panic over something that likely doesn’t need that sort of reaction. An example of this would be reacting to a new item on your to-do list that is unexpected. You may panic wondering how you will complete the task with the other tasks you have. Instead, you can use mindfulness to refocus and realize that the task can be worked in with another task or handled quickly and moved to your completed list.

Though mindfulness does take some time, it can help you with the stress in your life and reducing that stress into manageable categories or amounts. As you get into mindfulness you will start to find new ways it can help you and new methods to use.

Mindfulness for Anxiety
Anxiety is something an increasing number of people suffer from. This is primarily due to the fact that we as a society live and operate such hectic and busy lives. We have work, some have school, children, and a full calendar of things we have to do. This is just the daily stress. This doesn’t get into the issues with family, personal life, financial issues, and so much more. All of this combined will eventually lead to anxiety issues.

Breathing Techniques
When you become anxious about something, and your anxiety issues start to kick in, the first thing that happens is your heart rate increases. You become panicked, on some stages more panicked than others. When this happens it can be harder to focus and harder to calm down. Breathing techniques work in several ways. They help you stop and refocus.

Focus on the Issue at Hand
Mindfulness techniques like meditation and mind mapping can help you focus on the issue at hand. What mindfulness does is help you use and find techniques that can take a jumble of thoughts and work them into one connected thought with a clear path to a goal that have a starting point and ending point. Mindfulness can help you find joy in the task at hand, even if it is simply completing the task and moving to the next one. Though meditation, mind mapping, breathing, and gratitude you can focus on the issue at hand.

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