My Miracle Mindfulness Technique
Have you caught yourself just thinking and thinking and not being able to still your mind, wondering is there a miracle mindfulness cure that will magically take away the roller coaster of your mind and place you into a peaceful sleep?
Well, like you, I have too! It seems a carer’s mind is not a still mind at all. There’s always something to be thinking about, some job you have to do, or didn’t get done when you wanted it to be completed. That’s not even scratching the surface but I wanted to at least give a brief example.
The Wait Is Over
So, are you ready for what I call the 5,4,3,2,1 technique? Well, here it is. Just like magic.
Step 1 (5 Things)
5 = 5 Things You Can SEE (Name Them)
Find 5 things you can see and name them. I find that when I choose smaller, less obvious items, it makes me focus better on the task. Otherwise you will think of a habitual and well known item which you just know to be there and not be concentrating on looking for it. It would defeat the purpose of this technique if you did that. Things like door handles, spots on walls, small things like a clock or picture, or ornaments work well.
As you get more practiced and observe more try to go a bit deeper and look for a small part of a picture, or a word on a book title, a single flower on a bed cover. The more you seek out of the little details, the better.
For the rest of the exercise keep your eyes closed, unless of course you are driving or otherwise needing to concentrate.
Step 2 (4 Things)
4 = 4 Things You Can FEEL (Name and Describe Them)
Think of 4 things you can feel against your skin and describe it. This might be your pyjamas against your skin. Is it soft, rough, warm, cool, smooth? You might be able to feel the pressure of your leg against the mattress, or your head against the pillow, the skin of the person next to you, or perhaps a breeze from somewhere. Think how that feels. Heavy, light, warm, hard, soft, rough, cool, strong?
Step 3 (3 Things)
3 = 3 Things You Can HEAR
Pay attention to your surroundings and notice 3 things you can hear. This is the part I mentioned before where I believe my mind starts to still the most. It’s amazing what you can hear when you are focusing on only listening. It’s more of a necessity to quiet your mind by this time for this part to work. Once you mind is calm and quiet, you will probably hear things like cars driving past, the rain, wind, clocks ticking, breathing, buzzing of electrical devices and plenty more.
The Hardest Part
It’s probably the part that people will find the hardest to do but once you achieve it, you are well on your way to falling asleep quite quickly, or if it’s not bedtime, at least finding peace in a situation that you are feeling quite stressed over. I often don’t get to number 2 or 1 because I have fallen asleep by then. Not while I’m driving of course. If it’s not night time and I’m using this strategy, I feel that at least I’ve been able to get a moment’s peace from whatever problem I was facing.
Step 4 (2 Things)
2 = 2 Things You Can SMELL (Name Them)
Now this is the more difficult one to do in your physical surroundings. You need to think of 2 things you can smell, often there are not many smells around in a bedroom, but outside you will be able to do this easily if you’re practicing mindfulness on an occasion where you aren’t trying to go to sleep. This my granddaughter’s favourite. She enjoys it because I put essential oils on her feet and she gets to guess which oils I have used. If you find this one is a difficult one to do due to lack of smells around, then you can easily add something like an oil diffuser and good quality therapeutic grade essential oils to your bedroom to help with this.
Step 5 (1 Thing)
1 = 1 Positive Statement To Say To Yourself (Aloud or To Yourself)
Lastly, think of 1 positive statement to say to yourself. This might be an affirmation, or an expression of gratitude. It could be an opportunity for some uplifting self talk, or repeating a compliment to yourself that someone paid you. You could reinforce your goals or perhaps say something that you know will make you feel good. What do you have coming up that you are really looking forward to? Did you achieve something today that you are proud of or had been trying to do for sometime? Did you stand up for yourself? Many things spring to mind as I’m sure you are thinking of some right now.
5 Easy Steps And There You Have It – Simple!
So lets make it simple and give you the 5 steps to mindfulness in one easy to read format
5. Things you can see
4. Things you can feel on your skin
3. Things you can hear
2. Things you can smell
1. Positive self statement
Don’t Give Up
One thing to note is that there may be times that you find your mind wandering back to whatever thoughts you have been having that are responsible for keeping you awake. My most recent time was terrible and affected my sleep for days. If that happens, please don’t give up. Keep forcing yourself to go back to doing my miracle mindfulness technique. You will eventually get to a state of calmness and be able to get to sleep, it might just take a bit longer. If you struggle with it, start again, and again, and again until you are forcing your mind to think about ONLY the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 things to find or say to yourself. It will become much easier in time.
Thank you for reading and I hope you have found this post to be useful. Please leave a comment below if you have found this a useful technique or if you have other ways to do this, that way we are all helping each other out.
5 Steps image – if you like you can copy this image, print it out and laminate it for your own usage.
Image, Close up Of A Floating Seed Head by papaija courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Other images have their origins within the image
Carers Loft would like to acknowledge Bravehearts at www.bravehearts.org.au for the Mindfulness Technique steps used here.