Mindfulness Exercises For Sleep and Relaxation

Sleep better and feel more relaxed with our free mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, mindfulness worksheets and more. 

The Science of Mindful Eating

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Being mindful has many benefits, and recent research indicates that those benefits include helping obese individuals control their eating habits ...
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Guilt Is Healthy Shame Is Not

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There is no healthy expression of shame. Learn the difference between this guilt and shame through this mindfulness exercise talk ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

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Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Knowing the Breath. Your breathing has been your companion for your whole life. In all ...
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5 techniques to help you learn faster: know what you want of your life; make a practice of mastering skill ...
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Recognizing What You Need

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Choir Sings OM SO HUM Mantra

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This beautiful choir interpretation of the Om So Hum mantra will help you realize that we all come from one ...
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Realizing Intention

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Find your purpose, discover what intentions will help you to realize this, thoroughly examine them, and then use them to ...
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self compassion

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In this self-compassion break exercise, Kristin Neff teaches us how to take a moment to offer ourselves compassion in the ...
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increasing your connection with others

Increasing Your Connection With Others

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Increasing Connection, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, ...
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Without and Within

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Ajahn Jayasaro wrote this book Without and Within to introduce the practice of Buddhism and to elaborate on various topics ...
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Awakening From Self-Talk

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This video discusses the shift in consciousness from our ordinary “surface-level” perspective to a deeper awareness that transcends the personal ...
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Mindfulness meditation

The Tall Poppy and the Shrinking Violet

James Baraz describes the characteristics of the tall poppy and shrinking violet to oppression and benevolence. The mind can be ...
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SuperBrain Yoga Offers a New Mindfulness Technique

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SuperBrain Yoga is a new mindfulness technique that uses the principles of acupuncture and breathing to make the brain work ...
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Free Mindful Parenting Online Conference

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There's no such thing as "the perfect parent." Join our Free Mindful Parenting Online Conference and learn how to face ...
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Qoya Movement Ritual

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Qoya is based on the idea through movement, we remember. We remember our essence is wise, wild and free. Using ...
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Bedtime Guided Meditations for Children

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10 special bedtime guided meditations for children age 5 & upwards. Meditation at bedtime encourages children to release the day ...
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The 3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation

The 3 Minute Breathing Space Meditation

Why do we need to return to breathing when we need space? Being aware of breathing brings a lot into ...
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sourcing where your self judgment comes from

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To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Self-Judgment, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your belly, chest, ...
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3 Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress & Anxiety

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If you’re in need of a way to reduce your feelings of anxiety & stress, try out these 3 deep ...
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Mindfulness and the Ass in Cushion Metric Bill Duane

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Bill Duane from Google's Well Being and Sustainable High-Performance Learning Programs has a unique view on encouraging people to practice ...
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Mindfulness meditation

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Guided Meditation On Forgiveness

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Perspectives That Make Smart People [Video]

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The development of your wisdom and your compassion is cognitive development. Learn the five essential perspectives you need to put ...
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experiencing joy in relationships

Experiencing Joy in Relationships

To begin this Mindfulness Exercise on Joy in Relationships, please bring kind awareness to- why you chose this topic- how your ...
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Fck That An Honest Meditation [Video]

F*ck That: An Honest Meditation [Video]

Let this profanity-laced F*ck honest meditation help you find inner peace. Breathe in strength, breathe out bulls*it, and feel your ...
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Guided Meditation with Adyashanti

Guided Meditation with Adyashanti

Half an hour's worth of guided meditation with Adyashanti for jumpstarting and improving one's meditation practice, any time, anywhere ...
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Breathe Away Anxious Thoughts

Breathe Away Anxious Thoughts

Breathe Away Anxious Thoughts. This soothing meditation script guides listeners to use their breath as a primary tool for relaxation ...
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Letting Go of Seriousness [Video]

Letting Go of Seriousness [Video]

Listen to David Gandelman as he teaches energy awareness, ancient wisdom traditions, and humor to create a safe atmosphere for ...
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Self-Inquiry A

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Self-inquiry A is part of FitMind Meditation Program. It helps us get to know ourselves better and begin to shed ...
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Self-Compassion & Our Common Humanity Kristin Neff

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In this video, Kristin Neff talks about self-compassion and our common humanity. She has developed an 8-week program on self-compassion ...
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Attitude of Acceptance

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Noting A

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Nature of Awareness

Equanimity: Finding Balance In Difficult Times

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Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice

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In this podcast, Tara Brach talks about the 3 attitudes that nourish a liberating practice. Listen to the podcasts to ...
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Mindfulness Self-Compassion PTSD Symptoms

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This study suggests that increasing mindfulness and self-compassion could decrease functional disability in returning war veterans with PTSD symptoms ...
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Establishing Safety

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This practice promotes a sense of safety that allows our mental resources to stop fending off outer threats & instead ...
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Re-awaken The Giant Within Ebook

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Passing Thoughts and Moods

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Wise Concentration

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Patience

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How To Make Good Decisions

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Letting Go A Guided Meditation, The Magic Book, Spoken Word Guided Visualization, Waterfall Relax

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How To Deal With Insomnia [Video]

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Open Third Eye Chakra Calm Sleep Meditation Music, Sleep Chakra Meditation Balancing & Healing

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Visualizing Stress As A Storm

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Visualizing Stress As A Storm is a useful guided meditation script to deal with high levels of stress. It makes ...
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Mindfulness For Sleep and Relaxation

The Necessity of a Good Night’s Sleep

The quality of our sleep creates a ripple effect that rises with dawn and impacts the day ahead of us。 When we have not been able to fall asleep, or have risen in the middle of the night with racing thoughts, it is impossible for us to have gotten the rest we need – both physically and mentally。 The experience of insomnia, or of poor sleep quality in general, is rising, with modern day stressors captivating our minds into hours that are traditionally reserved for rest and rejuvenation。 Even when the lights go off, it is hard to find that deep sense of peace and release that carries us into a restful slumber。

Reaching a state of deep sleep is crucial for our overall sense of wellbeing. Sleep & relaxation offers us the chance to reset and restore our energy systems. Our physiology thrives when we have slept well as sleep impacts everything from hormones to emotions to energy levels.  that proper sleep can help us to regulate our emotions and reduces our tendency for reactivity.

A variety of factors can keep us up at night, or make it difficult for us to fall asleep. Insomnia or some lesser form of such an experience can be brought about by:

  • Anxiety, stress, and fear,
  • Repetitive thinking and ruminating,
  • Technology usage and light pollution,
  • Imbalanced hormones,
  • Dietary factors, such as caffeine, sugar, and alcohol,
  • Underlying medical conditions, and
  • Other personal, situational, and environmental factors.

Sleep issues are a daily concern for many; for others, the experience of sleepless nights crops up during periods of acute stress。 Whether short-term or chronic, stress impacts our ability to let go, to surrender, and to ultimately reach a state of deep sleep。 However, as we expand our own capacity for mindfulness, we find that the quality of our sleep improves alongside our practice。

How Mindfulness Helps to Improve Sleep

Mindfulness practice helps us to be exactly where we are. Of course we are always exactly where we are, but we often don’t recognize it. With distractions and stimulation ever-present in the modern world, the body may be in one place while the mind is in another. Mindfulness practice helps us to come back down to the present moment, offering us a chance to completely let go when we are within the initiatory stages of sleep.

bbin体育There are numerous ways that mindfulness promotes sleep. It can help us to rest deeply by:

  • Quieting the mind, bringing repetitive thoughts to rest
  • Drawing awareness into the body and away from the past or future
  • Easing the physical body by relaxing the muscles
  • Reconnecting us to the needs and reality of the present moment
  • Slowing the breath and inducing the relaxation response
  • Creating a sense of connection, contentment, and safety

Mindfulness reconnects us to the breath, a necessity for easing the experience of stress and anxiety。 When we struggle to fall asleep, stress is often a primary or contributing cause。 When we are stressed or anxious, we often breathe quite shallowly, unconsciously restricting each inhalation from expanding into the entirety of the lungs。 This shallow breathing engages our fight-or-flight response – the defensive side of our nervous system that is responsible for protecting us in moments of danger。

While the fight-or-flight response is a crucial survival mechanism in times of imminent threat, it is often stuck on overdrive due to an overactive mind。 When the mind is in high gear, the body cannot differentiate between what threats are real and imminent and which ones are perceived and remote。 If the mind signals that there is a reason to be afraid, the body reacts by secreting various hormones, such as cortisol, to help defend us against whatever we are facing。

Unless we are in a position to respond to whatever is causing us discomfort, this fight-or-flight mode and the cocktail of chemicals it secretes only fuels the state of inner fear and panic. We begin to breathe more shallowly, feeding into the belief that there is danger ahead.

Mindfulness increases our awareness of the breath, often guiding us to observe the rhythm and depth of the breath’s flow。 As we become more aware of the body and its life force in this way, we often find that the breath naturally deepens。 We can also consciously draw the breath into the belly if we notice that it is shallow。 In either case, as the breath descends further into the body, the relaxation response is initiated。

Benefits of the relaxation response include:

  • Slower heart rate,
  • Lowered blood pressure,
  • Slow and steady breathing,
  • Muscular relaxation,
  • Emotional release,
  • Feelings of resilience, and
  • Increased blood flow throughout the body.

All of these benefits help to further promote a sense of relaxation within the body, carrying us further into a sense of ease, and eventually, to place of complete surrender.

Our ability to navigate stress also helps us to achieve a better night’s sleep by regulating our hormones. One of our main neuroendocrine systems is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, otherwise known as the HPA axis. When activated, this system sparks within us the experience of wakefulness, and research has found that . In this way, stress keeps us up at all hours – at times when what we need most is rest and release. As we learn to navigate the stressors that hover in either the background or foreground of the mind, we become better equipped to mitigate the physiological effects that stress has on the body by guiding the mind back to the present moment.

Mindfulness Techniques for Sleep and Relaxation

There are a variety of mindfulness techniques we can use to bring about a greater sense of peace and stillness as we prepare for sleep. Implement any of the following practices into your nighttime routine, guiding yourself through these techniques (or using online supports) to help bring about a calm and tranquil state that is conducive to sleep.

Before you begin, allow yourself to come to a comfortable lying down position, supporting yourself in any way that is needed。 Ensure that the neck is aligned with the spine and that the shoulders are relaxed。 Consciously release any constriction in the stomach, the chest, the jaw, and the muscles around the eyes。 By mindfully letting go in this way, we set the stage for relaxation to effortlessly come over us。

Body Relaxation

Body scanbbin体育 meditations help to draw your energy away from the mind and into the body, grounding you in the present moment. It is a compassionate, heart-centered practice that facilitates the release of anxiety and rumination.

  • Begin by breathing into the heart space for a few breath cycles, setting the intention to embrace this practice with compassionate curiosity.
  • Once you have settled into the breath, draw your awareness to your feet, feeling into the physical, visceral sensations of this area of the body. Observe whatever is present without judgment, opening up to any physical sensations from a place of openness and compassion.
  • Slowly draw your awareness upwards throughout the body, noting any sensations that are present in each area that you pass。 Hold your attention for a couple of breaths on each muscle group as you move。 As you exhale, release any and all tightness, tension, or stress that you come across。
  • Compassionately observe each area of the body individually before holding your entire body in awareness. As you witness the entirety of your physical being, invite all muscles to relax, noticing the way the mind follows suit.
  • Continue to breathe mindfully, allowing your breath to anchor you in this practice until you fall asleep. 

Grounding Practice

When we ground ourselves into the present moment by exploring our connectedness to the physical space we are in, we begin to let go of rampant thought waves attached to the past or future. We gain a greater understanding for what it means to be “right here, right now.” By following this grounding practice, we begin to feel a greater sense of contentment, connection, and safety.

  • Begin by connecting with your breath, noticing the subtle sensations of each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the depth and rhythm of your breath, observing its nature with non-judgmental awareness.
  • Expand your field of awareness by tuning into the physical sensations of the body as it rests. Notice the way that the textures around you feel against your skin. Observe the way you are supported unconditionally by the physical world in this very moment.
  • Feel the body become heavier as you relax more completely, sinking further into the physical space that supports you。 Continue to observe the stillness and the simplicity of this moment。 In this very moment, your pure existence is in total harmony with the rest of the world。
  • Continue to breathe slowly and steadily, allowing your breath to anchor you in this present moment. Remain within the body, guiding the mind back into the present moment anytime it arises. 

Deep Breathing

Since deep breathing activates the relaxation response, it is an effective tool for setting the stage for a deep and restorative sleep。 Allow your breath to be your primary focus throughout this practice。

  • Begin simply by observing the natural rhythm of your breath. Notice the way it feels as it enters the body, and then observe any sensations present on exhalation. Invite the rest of the body to be entirely still, allowing only the breath to move you.
  • Draw your awareness to the stomach now. Since the breath has a tendency to follow one’s attention, you might observe the way it naturally begins to deepen. Continue to follow its flow, moving alongside both inhalation and exhalation.
  • Allow the belly to rise and fall as you breathe. Continue breathing into the full capacity of the lungs, perhaps noticing the way the mind quiets as you become more highly attuned with the present moment.
  • Liken your breath to soft waves, allowing it to ebb and flow inwards and out until finally you come to a state of deep release – that is, until you finally drift into a deep and transformative sleep.

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