|Army H.e.a.l.t.h. Arsenal|
The Calm mindfulness meditation app allows users to pick a calming background, sounds, and alarm for their self-guided meditation.
The app also offers 7 day guided meditation programs in addition to daily guided meditations.
Whether you are new to meditation or
are seasoned at practicing meditation, the Calm app can help you deepen your practice and help you to feel less stressed. You can also visit
from your desktop for a quick meditation while at work.
The app is available for free in the app store for iPhone
The Effect of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programs for Treating Insomnia
As discussed in the
April newsletter, symptoms of insomnia can range from difficulty falling asleep, restless sleep, waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep, frequent awakenings, and waking up feeling unrefreshed.
One effective method for treating insomnia is mindfulness. The results of a
research study, published in 2014
showed that participants who completed an 8-week program which focused on mindfulness-based stress reduction, were able to reduce many of the symptoms of chronic insomnia. Those who completed the program said they were not sleeping more, but sleeping better, waking more refreshed, feeling less distressed about insomnia, and better able to cope when it occurred.
Our home can often be a place of chaos, disorganization, and missed connections. It is usually the place where we get our day started and end our day…two of the most rushed times of day. Practicing mindfulness can help transform your home into a sanctuary that is less stressed and rushed. When we take the time to focus on the present moment, we don’t leave room stressing about the future or worrying about something that happened in the past. Being present in the moment also allows us to truly connect with our families and enjoy small moments that we would normally miss while operating on “auto-pilot”.
Mindfulness, or being present in the moment without judgment, is something that can be practiced anywhere, anytime. It’s best to dedicate at least 5 minutes per day in the beginning. The goal is to practice often enough that, eventually, you are practicing mindfulness throughout your entire day and using the skills you have sharpened to help you get though struggles and enjoy life a little more.
Use these tips to help cultivate mindfulness in your home:
Give Your Full Attention. This applies to everything you do, but is especially helpful when it comes to spending time with loved ones. When asking “how was your day?” make sure that you are truly listening to the response and engaged in the conversation. Often, we are distracted by social media or other thoughts about our day, when we are asking these daily type of questions. It would be more beneficial for our relationships if we dedicated our full attention with the person we are speaking with at the moment. It allows us to pay attention to subtle cues we may have otherwise missed, such as tone or body language.
Make It A Habit. Just as we pencil in time doctor appoints and dinner dates, setting aside time in your day to practice mindfulness can help ensure that you are staying on track. Life can keep us busy and we tend to get stuck in the same monotonous routines, day after day. By setting aside at least 5 minutes per day, you are helping yourself create a habit that will likely help you de-stress and handle whatever life throws at you. Practicing in the morning can help you prepare for the day with a fresh mind. Practicing at night can also help you let-go of the day’s worries and sleep better. It’s easy to see how practicing 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night can really make a difference.
Cultivate Empathy. Whether receiving or giving it, everyone benefits from a relationship that has empathy. When we feel that we are truly being understood, we are more open, forgiving, and happy. There are many ways you can bring empathy into your home. One way is to practice compassion meditation. You can do this by focusing your thoughts on well-wishes and well-being for others.
You can also practice being more empathetic when interacting with loved ones. This is especially helpful during a “touchy” conversation. When a heated topic is brought up, our natural instinct is to go on the defense and do whatever it takes to prove our point is the right one. When this happens, we are not truly listening to the other person or attempting to see things from their point of view. Next time you find yourself starting to react this way, try to focus on what the other person is saying, rather than mentally formulating your response while they are speaking. It may also help to ask questions. The more you know about where they are coming from, the more likely you are to understand their point of view. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with it, but being able to understand another person’s point of view is a great tool for any relationship.