Mindful May: Week Four

I can't BELIEVE May is almost over. So many amazing things happened this month and I am incredibly grateful for them all. During Mindful May I've discovered the wonders of meditating longer, journaling every day, reflecting on my past, and now, unplugging from technology for one hour each night. 

Technology has become essential to the lives of many. We use our phones for everything, and most of us can't imagine life without them anymore. The power of technology is growing like crazy, but so is its power over our lives. Have you ever had that friend who comes to hang out with you yet has their eyes glued to their phone the whole time? Yeah, let's try not to be that person.

I love social media and all the cool stuff that comes with technology as much as the next person, but sometimes it's just too much. My mind starts to feel extra cluttered, I get stressed out easier, and most importantly I hinder myself from enjoying the present moment. Take a second and try to count up just how many hours you spend on technology each day. Does that number horrify you? It surely did when I thought about the answer. This past week, I "unplugged" from all of my technology for an hour every night. No phone, TV, or computer for a whole hour. The best part: I LOVED IT. 

The first night I unplugged, I felt a huge sense of calm after just ten minutes. I was able to really concentrate on my nightly routine without my brain being unnecessarily active. Without the blue light from my devices, I could easily focus on reading my book or journaling, two things I always incorporate into my nightly routine. While reading, I was able to take in the words on the pages with a different level of understanding. Instead of pausing to check my phone, I would pause to let the words sink in. During my journaling, I could really think about my day, what I enjoyed, and what I needed to get off my chest and onto the page so that I could sleep easier. It was so relaxing, almost as if a small part of my brain had been put to rest.

I've had more than a few problems falling asleep in the past, so I've learned to be very particular about how I spend my time winding down at night. One huge thing I noticed was that without the distraction of my phone or computer, I found myself getting super sleepy within 30 minutes. By being on my phone so much before I sleep, it keeps my brain from slowing down enough to recognize that it is indeed, pretty tired. Without distractions, I used the hour to wind down, reflect on what I was grateful for that day, and most importantly fall into an amazing sleep.

I loved practicing mindfulness in different ways this week, and it has absolutely helped me to understand how to be more connected to the present moment. I hope you all enjoyed this mini-series as much as I did. If you haven't tried putting down your devices for at least an hour, you've got to do it! Next up, June!


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