Have you ever had the experience of climbing into bed after a long day and not being able to fall asleep?
There have been many occasions where I have felt the anxiety and stress of the day haunting me before I sleep, instead of being calm, relaxed, and hitting the "reset" button before the next day. There have been many thought leaders including Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra, and Richard Branson who practice meditation, and the results look extremely promising.
Science has repeatedly shown the benefits of meditation which include reduced stress, blood pressure, an increase in happiness, and even slowing aging!
In early 2013, I started meditation through Heartfulness, a global meditation practice that has improved my efficiency, focus, and helped me achieve deep sleep along with numerous other benefits with a little bit of practice. I practice meditation for about 1 hour a day, but my meditation teacher, Kamlesh Patel, taught me 3 simple tips for deeper sleep in just 7 minutes.
In fact, I've been using this same technique to reduce anxiety and stress throughout my day as well.
Here is how it works:
1. Find a comfortable position
My favorite place to sit before sleeping is usually in my bed, upright, with a pillow to help support my back. But during the day, I have a designated meditation chair which I sit in to make sure I keep the same consistency which helps my mind transition into a meditative state quicker.
For example, isn't it much easier to get into flow state regarding work if you sit at the same time and place to write? Similarly, I like to sit in the same chair and do the
I prefer sitting cross-legged with your hands and legs are drawn in. Just relax.
2. Play the relaxation
The relaxation is a simple document you can download to your phone and memorize, or you can listen to the YouTube video. My suggestion is to download the 7-minute video to your phone so you can have it whenever you are feeling stressed.
All you have to do is play the simple relaxation and follow the prompts that the video tells you to do. This may seem rudimentary at first, but it's a part of the process. The importance is to keep the attention in the heart and try not to think about what happened in the day or other external circumstances.
3. Meditate for a few minutes
Closing your eyes and following prompts isn't hard to do, but what becomes challenging is meditating for a few minutes after the video has been completed. Imagine that there is a light filling your heart and expanding to capture your attention.
As you focus on the subtle idea of lightness in your heart, you will begin to feel a vibration and energy descending into you. The meditation is an extremely important time for you to connect internally and start relaxing.
I have been practicing meditation through Heartfulness for almost 3 years now, and I can say the results have changed my life for the better. The Heartfulness Institute offers free classes and workshops across the world.
In 2 weeks, there will be a Heartfulness Conference in Detroit (June 4th), Los Angeles (June 12th), and New Jersey (June 25th) with speakers such as the Chief Evangelist of Google Gopi Kallayi, Comedian Kyle Cease, and New York Times Best-Selling Author Gabrielle Bernstein.
What techniques do you use to relax before sleeping?