Mindfulness sleep tips

This mindfulness exercise involves 4 aspects. Feel free to focus on one or more of these aspects if they resonate well with you.

1. Breathing:
– Start by getting yourself into a position where you feel most comfortable or relaxed. This could be sitting in a chair or lying on your bed.
– Begin the process of inhaling, holding and exhaling. This could be for 5 seconds or 10 seconds each, depending on what feels most comfortable for you. For example breathe in for 5, hold for 5, breathe out for 5.
– Try to breathe through your diaphragm (lower down) instead of your chest, to allow more oxygen to the lungs.

2. Visualisation:
– Try to visualise somewhere which brings you a sense of internal peace and relaxation. This could be anywhere at all (your garden, a beach, desert island, forest or favourite holiday place).
– You can do this with your eyes open or close – whatever is more comfortable and aids the visualization.

3. Senses:
– Try to be mindful and aware of how your body parts are.
– For example, the weight of your body and the gravity sinking down into the bed/seat/floor.
– If desired, gently tense and then relax different body parts. You could start with your feet and work your way up the body.
– This will help you feel physically present and grounded.
– What can you see? What can you hear?

4. Thoughts:
– If negative thoughts do come into your mind, push them away or ignore them.
– Try to acknowledge the thought for what it is and be with it “I am having this thought. But that is ok”.
– This acknowledgement can pose as a balance between the negative thoughts and your own thoughts.
– Try to let the thought float above you, it will likely drift away. If the thoughts return, restart the process.
– Slowly bringing your focus back to your breathing each time a thought occurs.