There are many factors that can contribute to an experience of insomnia. Medication, physical illness, or simply drinking too much caffeine during the day can lead to not being able to sleep. However, for many insomnia is instead the result of anxiety, depression, and in general a very active mind. When this is the case, the most effective method to assist in getting the right amount of sleep is a practice that helps calm the mind.
Practices that facilitate mental and physical relaxation can aide in being able to get a better night’s sleep. Methods that help relax the mind and body can have a significant effect the ability to sleep. And when used regularly, these methods not only bring relaxation in the moment, but they can have a general effect of relaxation over time, facilitating the experience of insomnia to slowly dissipate.
Furthermore, relaxation can create a psychological state that can invite solutions you might not have otherwise thought of. When the mind and body are relaxed, your inner resources are more easily accessible. In this state, you might see your situation differently. An answer to your problem might come forward or an insight might arise that allows you to see a stressful situation differently.
One way to relax the mind is through meditation. Now, there are many forms of meditation and you might need to find the method that is best for you. You can use guided imagery which takes you to various imagined peaceful places or you can meditate using a point of focus. Both can have healing and relaxing effects.
Finally, deep breathing can be an essential tool, particularly right in those intense moments that might otherwise lead to cutting or self-harm. Helping your child develop the habit of breathing instead of cutting can be the practice that eliminates self-harm altogether.
Meditation: Meditation is a practice that can be supportive, regardless of age. It can benefit the body, mind, and heart, even if only practiced from time to time. Indeed, there are immediate benefits along with long-term, positive effects on life that bring satisfaction, joy, love, and fulfilling relationships. To begin a practice of meditation, choose a time of the day you’ll practice. Find a comfortable posture and spend 20 to 30 minutes focusing on the breath. Continue to bring yourself back to the breath time and again. If you’re brand new to meditation, you might start off with meditating for 10 minutes and add five minutes each time you meditate until you arrive at 30 minutes. Learning how to focus your mind, especially when it feels very busy will facilitate its relaxation.
Guided Imagery: This can be incredibly relaxing. You might purchase CD’s or a DVD that will guide you to imaginary peaceful states. Doing this on a regular basis can create an ongoing sense of relaxation and peace that will allow you to sleep at night.
Deep Breathing: This is a practice that you can do regularly throughout the day. Whenever you feel anxious or nervous or overwhelmed, take five minutes and notice your breathing. Slow down, get in touch with your surroundings, and become mindful of your inner state. Essentially, this is a practice of becoming mindful. Mindfulness is becoming conscious of one’s internal and external environment. It is a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting the existing feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding activity.
Lori Haase, co-author of the study, reported, “Mindfulness helps the body optimize its response to stress by helping the body interpret stressful events as bodily sensations. The brain adds less emotional affect to experiences and this helps with stress recovery.”
Mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques can facilitate freedom from insomnia.