Can’t sleep? Try mindfulness, and find your own way.

Many people feel that mindfulness /meditation is not for them regardless of many attempts.  One problem often is that we don’t get how ‘letting go’ works and focus on (forcefully) clearing our mind. All efforts go to make the thoughts go away. In this kind of situation we can try another way. Rather than using effort to force these thoughts out we can simply allow them to be. See what happens when you just let your thoughts run their own course!

Gardening

Finding your own way is key with mindfulness and mediation. Believe in YOU and what feels right is right.

Individuals with chronic insomnia often feel that they have no control over their sleep. By using mindfulness meditation we can better manage the emotional reactions to sleep disturbance and daytime fatigue. The principles and practices of mindfulness meditation allow for sleep to unfold rather than increasing efforts to clear the mind or trying harder to make sleep happen. This approach might be more acceptable to patients who are looking for non-pharmacological treatments for insomnia and are willing to make lifestyle changes.

There’s a growing body of evidence supporting the use of a mindfulness-based approach for the treatment of insomnia but more is needed. One recent study, conducted by Cynthia Gross, PhD and her colleagues from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, has found some inspiring evidence that mindfulness may be just as powerful as the insomnia prescription medication, Lunesta (eszopiclone).

If you wish some support to mediate, the commonly used mantra is ‘So-ham’.  So-ham acts as a natural mantra to control one’s breathing pattern, to help achieve deep breath, and to gain concentration.

  • Sooooo… is the sound of inhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that inhalation.
  • Hummmm… is the sound of exhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that exhalation.

Aim to keep exhalation twice as long as inhalation. This way your body systems slows down and you fall into peaceful state.

However, nothing prevents you to create your own ‘mantra’ something like ‘I feel safe’, ‘everything is alright’, ‘today is a good day’, etc. Don’t take meditation too seriously and rely on your instincts for what is the best way for you to find space and a connection for your core and soul.

Essentially meditation is about learning to live in the moment. Mindfulness is very much about ‘now’. Enjoying what is happening in an accepting manner. And choosing how we react to different experiences rather than letting the events around us take grip of us. The very same truth applies to ‘handling’ poor sloop. Our reactions are strengthening the very thing we are trying to lessen. We should not aim to learn how to beat insomnia but how to sit with it.  It’s about letting go. Like babies do.

Note: Meditation is an experience. You have to DO it in order to understand and appreciate it. Also, finding your own way is key – believe in YOU and what feels right is right. There are different ‘schools’ and ‘rules’ and ‘guidance’ yet the key thing is to find your own way to keep (=enjoy) a silent moment, connect to your core and let your soul rest and re-energise. The better we learn to listen ourselves, the better we take care of ourselves. As a consequence, we also sleep better.

Useful meditation links

Get Some Headspace – Guidance to Meditation

Mindful Meditation: Acceptance of Thoughts & Feelings (8 mins, YouTube)

Mindfulness Bell: A 5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation (YouTube)

Meditation music

Soothing meditation music (~10 minutes, very soothing and peaceful)

The song 3055 (~4 mins, relaxing and sweet)

Ljósið (~4 mins, a bit more up tempo for more energetic days)

Mirabai Ceiba, Har Mukanday – Mantra of Liberation (~9 mins, spiritual, peaceful)

RaMaDa – Snatam Kaur – Love Vibration (~9 mins, spiritual, peaceful)

Relax music meditation (~4 mins, soothing earth music)

Meditation and sleep music (~30 mins, people fall asleep listening this)

Background music intrumentals (~2.5 mins, slow, peaceful)

How do you practise mindfulness? Where/when do you enjoy silence?

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