Meditation is an ancient practice that uses mindfulness to center thoughts, reduce stress and calm the mind. Meditation emphasizes focus and self-awareness to clear the mind of stress. Meditating before bed can help prepare the mind and body for sleep and control stressful thoughts.
If you have no prior experience with meditation, it may seem intimidating, strange, or even boring. Beginning a meditation practice may feel awkward at first, but soon you’ll experience the benefits firsthand and be singing its praises. Learning to meditate is like exercising a muscle. The more you use it, the easier it becomes.
Here are some simple steps to meditate before bed, relieve stress, and sleep well
Step 1. Commit to the practice – Deciding to meditate is the first and most important step. As meditation becomes easier over time, it is important that you commit to practicing it. It may feel strange at first, but stick with it.
Step 2. Choose the type of meditation that works for you – There are three general types of meditation: mindfulness, concentration, and guided meditation.
In mindfulness meditation, you focus on your breath and your body, noticing exactly how you feel in your body and how your body is functioning at that moment. The goal during mindfulness meditation is to replace all digressive thoughts with mindfulness of what your body is experiencing instead.
Concentration meditation focuses on one word, thought, or phrase. This meditation may involve focusing on an object or repeating a mantra audibly or in your mind.
Guided meditation involves listening to an audio to help you relieve stress and find sleep. The instructor may focus on physical aspects of your body or tell a story and guide you through the details.
Step 3. Increase the duration of meditation until you feel relief – At first, you may not be able to meditate for very long. This is normal. Thoughts wander and stress has a way of overriding intentions. Don’t judge yourself or worry that you’re not doing it right. Over time, you can defeat your wandering mind and help it focus on your meditation practice and gain relief and peace as you fall asleep.
Meditation is a wonderful tool for relieving stress throughout the day. It is especially helpful before bed when stress is trying to rob you of sleep. Find a meditation style that works for you and commit to trying it for a month, and you will discover an amazing ability to regulate your thoughts and enjoy restful sleep.