Meditation. Yep, it can really help you sleep better.
I’m reading this book called “Stress Less, Accomplish More” by Emily Gletcher, and I’m loving it. I have to share with you that I have been an off and on meditator for what seems like forever. When I lived in San Francisco in my early 30’s I discovered the Zen center and happily practiced Zazen on a regular basis. Then I went through a phase of not being able to sit still or calm my mind enough so I mostly did my meditation through movement like walking or yoga. Next, I started downloading meditation apps and following guided meditations. Each phase worked perfectly for me at that time in my life. Let’s face it, we all change through time and our needs and desires change in the process. I think it’s said that we have a whole new body every seven years with all the cell regeneration that happens. So why wouldn’t we need to change things up every few years or so?
I have been in the habit of doing a daily AM/PM meditation that includes gratitude for the day in the evening practice and asking for guidance in the morning practice. This has gone quite well and I was happy to continue along this path until I read this book. I love her meditation prescription. There’s some great info on her website at ZivaMeditation.com. But I’ll share the basic idea with you.
First you sit in a position that is comfortable and supports your back. Set your timer for 15 minutes. Start with a review or a check-in with your five senses. What do you hear, feel, taste, smell, and see (with your eyes closed)? This gets you connected to your present moment. Then you move forward with a mantra. She suggests the word ONE. I did it this morning and enjoyed how simple it was as well as that word kept pulling my mind back to the present moment. Emily shares that your mind is made for thinking just as your heart is made to beat. You can’t stop from thinking just as you can’t stop your heart from beating. The last part of the meditation is just a couple of minutes of setting your intentions and envisioning your desires. Once your mind is settled and focused, it’s much easier to know what you want to create in your life.
I invite you to give this meditation a whirl. Do it upon waking and then some other time later in the day. She suggests not before bed as it will energize you and you don’t want that before sleep. Doing this twice a day for 15 minutes will improve your sleep as well as many other aspects of your health. It just might make you a bit happier too!
Here is a meditation that I learned at Sanoviv Medical Institute that you can do whenever you’re feeling stressed or right before bed or even in bed if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep.
Sit in a comfortable chair and stretch your legs out straight. Cross the left ankle over the right. Outstretch your arms in front of you with your hands back to back and your thumbs pointing downward. Bring your right hand over your left and interlock your fingers. Fold your arms inward toward your body and rest your interlocked fingers on your chest. When you inhale, bring your tongue to the roof of your mouth and when you exhale bring your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. Continue this posture while breathing for 2-5 minutes. As you inhale, think the word RELAX and you exhale think RELEASE.
If you can’t sleep, do this lying in bed, except just cross your right hand over your left and rest your hands on your chest rather than doing the intertwined fingers hold. This will even work if you’re a side sleeper.
Relax and release and have a great week. Donna
If you need help with any of this, I’m here to support and guide you. Have a great week. Donna