Have you ever blamed your busy brain for keeping you up at night? Or tossed and turned before bed trying to get comfortable only to wake up in the perfect position? I’m no scientist but it seems like relaxation is more successful when our brain and our muscles have a chance to calm down.
I’m up for at least a solid 14 hours a day. I wake up at sunrise and fill those hours of daylight with exercise, cooking, eating, blogging, talking to friends and family, taking care of my dog, etc. There is a lot to process in a day. A lot of movement and a lot of thinking. By the time I feel ready for bed, ready for sleep and a new day, my brain and my body haven’t quite reached the same conclusion.
What can I do to settle my mind and calm my body in order to be relaxed and ready for bedtime? I love having a routine. I light candles before I wash up and brush my teeth. I do some slow stretches while focusing on deep breathing. Meditation to relax my body from head to toes. I actually focus on every body part until each feels at ease. Now I know it might not be recommended, but I’m not a big reader and my eyes need to be tired out somehow! I usually fall asleep to Friends or The Office on sleep timer. Something I don’t necessarily need to view anymore to enjoy, but my mind can listen instead of wander and my eyes can watch until they get tired.
With my theory of relaxation I can of course create a better bedtime regime. But I can also apply the same methods to moments of anger or frustration. Moments of sadness, grief, or any other unwanted feelings. The opposite of relaxed must be active. So in order to relax, I must settle activity in my brain and my body. If I’m angry, step away. Give myself time to calm down. Deep breathing, meditation or stretching can be a great resolution for these times too. If I’m sad, I redirect my attention. Remove the fuel to that feeling and place it somewhere that brings me peace.
We don’t have to lose our most comfortable and relaxed moments to our alarm clock. We just have to recreate that sense of relaxation when we want it. Use our mind on purpose. Separating our goals from the clutter. Creating the environment that nurtures the feelings we are seeking. Relax our mind and our muscles. Stay in tune with the energy that matches our desired results.