This week my mind has been more hectic that I would like. Booking our summer holiday has meant many more internet hours than normal. This alongside being on the computer for work has really made a difference to my state of mind, I have noticed the change.
The great thing is that meditation is a real head saver at times like this. We all go through periods where we overload ourselves. Having a coping mechanism is a great way to avoid your increased brain activity and new habits turning into a problem. New habits are very easy to make but it is more challenging to break old ones.
Being mindful is not about locking ourselves away and blocking other people out. It’s not about locking our lap tops, phones and ipads away either. It’s about recognising our thoughts and feelings and giving ourselves extra breathers in our day whenever we can. It is also about noticing our habits as they form so that we can see clearly whether our behaviour is working well for us, or not.
When we sit to meditate we soon learn to become aware of our state of mind. Try sitting quietly for just 3 minutes and not where your thoughts go. Are they hectic, darting abut from one thing to another? The Buddhists call this monkey mind. Imagine each thought is a monkey swinging from tree to tree. Phew…exhausting. Generally the more hectic our mind is during our day the harder it is to slow down when we try to meditate or go to sleep at the end of the day.
I find the internet very addictive and I have definitely got worse since I got a new large size, iPhone 6. Having been hot on the trail for beautiful holiday accommodation I have been checking my emails regularly to see if I have any responses. The trouble is even now the accommodation is booked I am still in the habit of checking my emails way too often. The result, a hectic mind, darting from one thing to another!
So the answer?
Well for me more regular meditation has kept me calm and it has also helped me to spot the way things were going.
This morning I was back from my ride and locking up when I found myself reaching for my phone in my pocket. This brought me straight back to the moment and I left my phone exactly where it was. Instead I got on with what I was doing without distraction. I decided that for the rest of my day I would leave my mobile alone. I checked it on my lunch break but not whilst I was working. I experienced a massive change – very, very quickly. I have been more settled, more happy and have had much more focus on my work. Amazing.
Spotting the issue is definitely the key to solving it. Awareness is everything. We can slip into certain types of behaviour very easily and noticing the impact this has on you is really important.
Learning to meditate and to live mindfully is a life skill that can help us to deal with all that life has to throw at us. What ever gets the monkeys in your mind jumping meditation will help. Come on a Meditation Day in Leicestershire with Revitalise Days and see how you could get learn to calm your monkeys!