My most requested breathing advice is how to relax so we can have a restful sleep. So I’m writing about it now in the hope that it will help lots of people struggling right at the moment. I know with everything going on, for many, it’s not conducive to getting a early night.
Here are my ways to use breath and breathing intentions to calm us so we can feel more prepared to get a beautiful, healing rest.
Breathing Intentions to Sleep
As we started to work with in a recent blog, breathing intentions are a powerful way to use breath and our thoughts to change our feelings and set a new mindset. This is especially important before sleep as not only can changing our thoughts before bed help us to sleep, it can also pave the way for a more positive day and week ahead.
Breathing intentions I like to work to work with before bed are;
“I breathe in the eve, I breathe out the day”
“I breathe in rest, I breathe out all that hurries me”
“I breathe in peace, I release all other thoughts”
Visualisations to Quieten Busy Minds
One of my favourite visualisations to free my mind is one that was devised by Bob Monroe in the 1970s for his consciousness exploration programmes. Here’s the basics of how to do it, this is a very brief explanation, for a fuller guide, please see the Monroe Institute guided meditations videos.
Create a large, heavy box in your mind. This a box that only you can open and only you have access to. Open the heavy lid and into the box, release all of your worries all of the day's events, all of tomorrow's events. Anything that might enter your mind as you want to rest, put it in the box. Now close the box, you don't need those thoughts right now. Turn your back and walk away from the box.
Another visual technique I like is the following. This is one that I came up with myself as I do think any meditation exercises we can think of for ourselves will always be the most effective. I love the Monroe exercises, I think it’s great if we can adapt them or make up ones unique to us too. You can also think of thoughts flowing away with a river or drifting off into space.
Collect your thoughts. Imagine they are flowing from your body, out through your toes. Picture them leaving your bedroom door, floating down the stairs and leaving through your back door. The door shuts and you don't need to think about them anymore.
Affirmations for a Restful Sleep
Slightly different from the breathing intentions, affirmations can be used just as we’re falling asleep to set the tone for how we’ll sleep. A sort of self-hypnosis almost. If we tell ourselves we are going to heal during our sleep, that we’ll wake up feeling refreshed, that tomorrow will be a good day- all these things are far more likely with the use of repeated affirmations. Here are some of my favourites, as mentioned, it’s better if you devise your own personal ones…
“I will heal as I sleep”
“Resting is re-energising”
“I will have beautiful dreams”
“Tomorrow will be a joyful day”
I really hope these help you on your way to a thoroughly restful and nourishing sleep.
Best Wishes and Deep Breaths,