The world is undergoing some major changes many of which are causing great anxiety. This year has been full of uncertainty as we deal with a worldwide health crisis causing financial stability to waver. With uncertainty and anxiety on the rise, our nervous systems are on high alert, ready to react to the next piece of news. It is easier than ever to get information, whether real or fake, and attach to it.
Our hyper connectivity is keeping us from one of the most important functions our bodies were made for, rest. When our minds take over, it feels nearly impossible to connect with our bodies and allow sleep to occur. Sleep is necessary for us to function. When we sleep, we restore our energy and reset from a day of stimulation.
In order to welcome sleep, we need to get out of our heads and into our bodies.
There are many things we can do to help promote sleep, for instance:
One of the quickest ways to get out of your head is to journal. By writing down all the thoughts that are swirling in your head, and getting them onto paper, you are physically processing the thoughts and giving them a new place to reside. Journaling not only helps process our thoughts, it also provides perspective later to see how we’ve grown and changed through circumstances. Keep a journal by your bed to brain dump before sleep to stop the constant stream of thoughts swirling in your head.
Finally, meditation and breath work are key elements to welcoming calm, especially before sleep. Taking the time to connect with your breath and consciously paying attention to only the breath can ease the energetic flurries anxiety creates within our nervous system. We can interrupt the flurries by breathing deeply. Counting our breath can also help keep the focus on the breath. After a few rounds, you will feel calmer and ready for rest. Our breath has the power to calm, center and relax our bodies and minds.
Below is a quick meditation you can read before bed to help ease anxiety.
I welcome peace into my body and release my grasp from what I cannot control. With each inhale, I welcome stillness and allow it flow through me like a river. With each exhale, I release all thoughts that continue to persist. My mind served me well today and I am grateful. I am allowing my mind and body time to rest and restore. Today is complete and all that matters is the present moment. I am here, I am safe, I am calm.
We may feel overwhelmed by everything that is happening around us, and yet, we have control of our breath and reactions. By choosing to set boundaries around the information we intake, taking the time to promote relaxation and breathing, we can enter into more tranquil sleep with practice.
May peace transcend worry.
*for more meditations, check out Moonlight Gratitude: 365 Nighttime Meditations for Deep, Tranquil Sleep All Year Long.