Counting sheep at night? That’s what happens when you worry day and night about your life, work, family, and relationship. It’s a vicious cycle where you worry too much about not getting enough sleep and then blaming yourself as the reason. Before proceeding any further, let me tell you that sleeping aids are not the answer to this problem.
There are simple relaxation techniques such as mindfulness, which will help you find that inner peace you have been looking for. Mindfulness not only reduces night time stress but also helps you deal with insomnia. In 2015, a poll by No Sleepless Nights revealed that out of 376 voters, only 20 said that they practiced mindfulness daily and experienced a significant change in their sleep routine.
What is Mindfulness?
In simple terms, mindfulness is about focusing on yourself and being aware of your surroundings, so that you can let go of negative thoughts. It’s about focusing on the present and letting your emotions flow through you to enter a calm state.
Mindfulness Mediation Techniques
The only way to slow down your brain is to bring your inner self into focus. For this, try these 2 traditional meditation techniques before bedtime:
1. Breathing Awareness
The first rule of getting a good night’s sleep is to go to bed only when you feel sleepy. Lie in bed and focus on your breathing. Feel the breath moving in and out of your lungs. Take natural breaths and with every inhale, imagine the air coming from some place far away. When you exhale, imagine blowing it into the same place. During this, you can count your breaths, say in and out on every breath or repeat the world “relax” like a mantra.
The next step is to concentrate on your feelings. Does the air have a taste? Does it have a scent? Is it warm or cool? In the middle of these thoughts, you might find your mind wandering and that is completely natural. The trick is to acknowledge the thoughts, let them float by and then focus back on your breathing.
The third and final step is to relieve tension from your body. Let your body parts sink one by one into the mattress and imagine yourself floating in the air. By the end of the exercise, you will feel the negative energy draining from your body and a Zen feeling will take over control.
2. Body Scan Relaxation
This technique involves taking yourself mentally on a trip. Imagine your brain taking a trip to your feet. Now, flex your toes and imagine the muscles tightening and relaxing.
Move upwards and do the same for your calf, thigh, and so on. Take this paralysis and move it to your hand. Once done with the hands and legs, move on to your stomach, chest, shoulders, neck, face, and finally your head.
After a while, your limbs will get heavy and your body will sink further into the mattress. Again, the trick is to free your mind, and let your thought process take a natural course.
So, there you go… two mindfulness meditation techniques that will definitely help you associate positive feelings with bedtime. Getting your internal clock into order is all about giving up self-control. The more you focus on positive emotions, the more you will be able to relax in bed and sleep peacefully.