Our minds, like everything that comprises our bodies, are wonderfully set to protect us, but hypervigilance or a constant state of "popcorn" brain with repetitive thoughts, worries, and constant stimulation can exhaust and stress our body. This cycle can also interfere with restorative, healing sleep. We need to train ourselves to shut down this protective mode long enough to allow our mind and body restoration. Here are a few tips:
* Check in consciously with what you are thinking to prevent your mind from wandering, projecting fear and worry from the past and future - train yourself to accept and enjoy the moment.
* Visualize a redundant or negative thought flowing out of the top of your head, floating down and landing on a leaf on a stream. Then see the water carrying the thought gently away.
*Make the familiar fresh again. Look at objects with a fresh eye. Identify one new detail about the item each time that you didn't see before.
* Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Inhale and exhale a count of 3. Do this 10 times. When you feel comfortable, increase the count to 5 and then work up to 8.
* Feel your breath move in and out of your body. Let your awareness of everything else fall away. When your mind begins to wander, gently redirect your attention to your breath.
* If you are having difficulty keeping yourself from worry or anxiety - change what you are doing - your location; if you are sitting go for a walk; call a friend, etc.
* Increasing blood circulation can make you mentally feel better and less scattered or depressed. Make sure to engage in activity that gets your heart rate up and your blood freely circulating and nourishing your beautiful brain.
* Write down or make a note on your cell phone a reminder of anything you need to remember or action you need to take. This lets your mind move its energies elsewhere so we don't have background anxiety. This is particularly helpful for sleep so our brains don't stay active on "I need to remember..." and can let that go so we have restful sleep.