Types Of Meditation For Better Sleep
Mindfulness Meditation. Mindfulness meditation can include any of the practices below or be a practice of its own. Mindfulness is about noticing and becoming aware within the present moment. Set aside five to ten minutes to become aware of different sensations, both physical and mental. Rather than focus on the thoughts, practice just acknowledging them and letting go.
Body scanning is a way to release tension in the body by noticing hidden tension. Starting from your toes, focus your attention on different areas of your body until you reach the top of your head. If you notice any tension, be aware that you hold tension in that area and work on relaxing.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
Progressive muscle relaxation takes the awareness gained from body scanning and starts correcting the behavior. Rather than just observing the body, this practice progressively tightens, then releases, areas of the body. This helps the body be aware of the sensation of tension as well as letting it go.
Deep breathing helps circulate oxygen through the brain and body, slowing down thoughts and heart rate to cause relaxation. Sitting in an upright position, take a deep breath starting from the bottom of your belly. Fill your lungs up from bottom to top, expanding the chest. Inhale for the count of four, hold for four counts, and try to exhale for eight. Slowly push the air out in the same direction from bottom to top.
How To Start A Bedtime Meditation Practice
If your mind is still racing at the end of the day it can be challenging to just sit down and get quiet. First, start by dedicating time before bed for your meditation practice. New phone systems include a “bedtime” setting in the clock app to let you know about thirty minutes ahead of time when you need to start settling down. Commit to taking at least ten to thirty minutes before your bedtime goal for your practices. Second, start off small. Don’t expect to levitate for good sleep in your first few days of meditation or mindfulness practice. For assistance and support, you can use a meditation app to guide you through the process. Try Pacifica, an app for anxiety management which includes many different kinds of meditations, about 4-6 minutes each. Third, let go of your expectations. Just be present for the practice and open to witnessing whatever results. Finally, once your practice is over do not pick up your phone. Studies have shown that the blue light behind the screens of your smart devices stimulates the brain. Picking up your phone would compromise the work you just put in through your practice. Instead, finish your practice and try to fall asleep.
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