Updated: Aug 18
It is so easy to slip into automatic routines. Our minds love it. It means that while we habitually do the things we always do, the mind can be free to wander to where it always goes. Nothing wrong with routine pleasure of course, and who is to say that a wandering mind is always bad - especially if it goes off somewhere nice and takes you with it - to a happy memory of a holiday, for instance. So often though, this behaviour leads to continuing to think along the same old neural pathways, same old worries, same old me Example - I got into a habit of taking my tablet and phone to bed. I got to look forward to watching some relaxing mindless TV or surfing the odd YouTube video of something I was interested in that day. Not only was I doing all the things that they tell you will prevent you from getting good quality sleep, but the key thing was I had allowed an unhealthy habit to creep up and take root. And this happens routinely to us through the day, particularly when we are stressed and not being mindful - little escaping pleasures can become habit. So I decided to mix up my mind a little, not let it rest on its laurels. Devices are banned now from the bedroom. I can take a paper book or my e-reader. The good thing is I get tired quicker when just reading too, and I actually enjoy it more, not getting unconsciously anxious about which of the galaxy of offerings from Netflix or iPlayer I will be watching. I am getting better sleep - and more importantly, I told my mind to think again.