Mindfulness & Rested Minds
Have you ever had one of those days where you climb into bed, exhausted, but yet lie there in a pit of anxiety as your brain seems to play a film of what happened at work, the stresses at home, the stresses to come, bills, demands on time, and so on and on? We all have. We all do.
The power lies within stopping the film, and controlling your thoughts. It’s honestly so much easier than you’d think, you just need to understand how to do it, and we’re here for you.
We have spoken to the experts, and we want to share what we’ve learnt with you, to help you get a good, healthy night’s sleep.
A method to try is called Thought Switching. This is the mental process of consciously redirecting one's attention from one fixation to another.
Essentially, it is a strategy that involves blocking and replacing unwanted, distressing thoughts. It’s a conscious effort that will get easier as you use the tool.
Here are some ways to start your thought switching processes:
- Go over in your mind some of the things you have enjoyed in the last few days.
- Think about things that you look forward to in the next few days.
- Think about the things for which you feel fortunate in your life, and the people you care about (‘count your blessings’).
- Imagine being at the beach, or in the forest, or anywhere you enjoy or feel comfortable.
It does not matter what you switch to, as long as it is something that you find peaceful and relaxing.
You could also listen to relaxing music in bed. Focusing on the music can help you block out other thoughts or worries. Keep to relaxing music however, the latest top 40 might just get you too excited. Even white noise, or a rain-track on loop would be a great idea.
If there is a particular thought you are trying to shake, here are some pointers to train your brain away from it:
- Saying "Stop!" in your head,
- Visualizing a giant STOP sign in your mind whenever the thought occurs
- Clapping your hands or snapping your fingers whenever the thought occurs
- Making a checkmark on a piece of paper or a ‘Thought Diary’ when it occurs
Relaxation techniques can distract you from thinking and help you get to sleep.
- Lie down somewhere comfortable without distractions, and place pillows under your head and knees.
- Take a slow, deep breath through your nose. Hold the breath for several seconds and slowly breathe out. Relax like this for 15 seconds.
- Take another deep, slow breath through your nose. Hold your breath and pull your toes towards your head and tighten your leg muscles (no longer than a count to 5). Feel the tension. Breathe out slowly and relax your legs. Relax for 15 seconds.
- Take another deep, slow breath through your nose. Hold your breath and make a fist with both hands and tighten your arm muscles. Feel the tension. Breathe out slowly and relax your arms and hands. Relax for 15 seconds.
- Take another slow, deep breath through your nose. Hold the breath and bite down as hard as you can and tighten your jaw muscles. Feel the tension. Breathe out slowly and relax your jaws. Relax for 15 seconds.
- Take a slow deep breath through your nose. Hold your breath and lift up your head and tighten your neck muscles. Feel the tension. Breath out slowly, let your head rest back on the pillow, and relax your neck muscles.
- Lie still for 2 minutes and enjoy the relaxed feeling, feel the softness over your body and the calmness in your mind. Should any unwanted thoughts occur, don’t panic, just go through your thought Switching processes.
- Should you want to fall asleep from here, another strange but great trick is to clear your mind, and lie comfortably, and start blinking. Fairly fast, and non-stop. The next thing you know, you’ll be waking up in the morning.
Body20 is an all-encompassing, holistic approach to physical, and mental well-being.
The mind & body are an ecosystem, and we understand the value of taking care of it all. Body20 members get access to Nutrition Doctors and Wellness Coaches to assist in improving the quality of their lives. To find out more, book your free demo at your nearest Body20 Studio.