Happiness is a fickle and fragile state of mind. Over the course of the day, our happy is constantly threatened – overwhelmed by stress, drowned by insecurity, trampled by rude people. By the time evening rolls around, we’re bundles of raw nerves curled up on the couch. Meditation offers us a chance to reflect on everything that transpired in the last 24 hours. David Dillard-Wright, author of A Mindful Evening puts it like this:
It helps you to close the loop, close the cycle on the joyous or tumultuous occurrences that have occupied your time and attention. This is the exhalation of the day, the last breath of the mini death that we experience each night. Evening can be tinged with joy or regret, blessings counted or curses lamented. Evening is a milestone and a passage, however brief.
Don’t lose your happy. Combat the stress, insecurities, and rude people with these easy, mindfulness exercises.
A Mindful Evening gives you the tools you need to power down at night. With nearly 200 inspiring quotes and short mindfulness exercises, you’ll learn how to end your day with a clear head and calming energy. These simple moments of awareness, healing postures, and meditations can help soothe your soul as you conclude each day and prepare for a tranquil, restful night’s sleep.
We have a pernicious tendency to judge ourselves at the close of day. Nagging questions linger, perhaps on the drive home, while sitting at dinner, or lying down to sleep at night. “Did I accomplish enough today? Did I pay the bills? Was I good enough as a partner or employee or parent?” This analysis has the potential to spiral out of control, to become fodder for insomnia, to lead to chronic stress. The little annoyances of daily life can be magnified out of proportion, making Mount Rushmores out of molehills. Notice that if we have been engaged in work, the activities likely to be labeled as “productive” by our society, we have a tendency to criticize ourselves in the opposite direction. So we might ask questions related to self-care, like, “Did I eat well enough today? Did I do my meditation? Did I start writing my novel?” So there is a Catch-22 of self-regulating thought. We can criticize ourselves for being too “worldly” or too “spiritual,” for being too obsessed with success or for not being successful enough. We need to develop techniques of self-inquiry that do not become a sort of torture session where we castigate ourselves for everything that we did not accomplish over the previous day.
Being positive goes hand in hand with being happy. Once you’re mastered these meditation exercises, try 5 mantras to add positivity to your life.