07 May Becoming Present
I recently attended an informational lecture about insomnia. Within that lecture contained a golden nugget that’s I have been using in my awake time as well. Near the end of the lecture, the doctor said, ” I have the very best technique ever to help quiet the mental chatter in order to fall back asleep”, needless to say I was intrigued but, best ever? I scoffed. She then proceeded to tell us all how to use acountdown method with some of your senses that goes a bit like this-
What are 5 things I can see right now?
What are 5 things I hear right now?
What are 5 things my body can feel right now?
what are 4 things I see right now ( they can be the same as before)
what are 4 things I hear, etc etc
She guaranteed nobody counts down past 2 before they fall back to sleep.
So far, for me- she was right.
Why does this work? It take us out of our racing thoughts and puts us right into the moment. In essence it’s a wakeful meditation, ironically to help fall back to sleep.
You have a companion with you all the time, whether you are are alone or with others. This companion usually likes to talk. A lot. It is your brain. And the more you are absorbed in your mental chatter of racing thoughts, worrying about what others think about you, thinking about that one thing you could have said, or are you going to get that promotion , or why that woman just gave you a funny look, or when are you going to finally call your parents, blah blah blah. It’s exhausting isn’t it? I think we all get trapped in our mental chatter even more than we realize. This then becomes the thought patterns that we seek out realities and outcomes we expect to get, a potentially slippery slope to get out of.
So, for me, I have started to use the sensory countdown during the day to get out of my brain and into the moment. When I stay present with only my sensory input, it really puts me squarely right here, right now. Plus, it’s fun. I am amazed how many things I notice in my neighborhood now that I never noticed before.
There is a lush world outside and all around us that can help us relax, enjoy life and appreciate being fully present.
Hilary, Retail Manager
The Dragontree Holistic Day Spa