Just 5 minutes of meditation before bed can help to relax your mind, relieve stress, and improve your sleep. Here are 3 quick tips to get you started:
Feeling stressed about getting all of your Christmas shopping done in time? Worried about how your estranged siblings will get along during the holiday? Wondering how you’ll get all that food made before the guests arrive?
The holidays can be a stressful time of year! If you’re feeling a little stretched and overwhelmed right now, a 5-minute meditation break may be just what you need. And if you’re thinking meditation will take way too long to provide any results, think again. In fact, all you really need is just a few minutes a night in order to relieve stress, sleep better, and approach the holidays from a healthier and more balanced state of mind!
Here are a few quick tips to help you achieve all these benefits in just 5 minutes before bed:
1.) Learn the Right Breathing Technique
A big part of meditation involves practicing breathing exercises, which makes you more aware of your own breathing so that you can clear your mind and focus better on the meditation. Since meditation does have a learning curve, you might want to learn just one step at a time, starting with your breathing exercises. One thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to do breathing exercises. You just want to focus on your breathing, particularly when you are inhaling and exhaling. Pay attention to your ribcage moving as you breathe, and that helps bring the focus from your thoughts to your breathing, and will begin to clear your mind of stressful thoughts and worry almost immediately.
2.) Find a Quiet Area
Make sure when you are ready to start with your 5-minute meditation practice that you are sitting in a quiet area so that you can really focus. Whether you are doing it silently or with a mantra, you don’t want to be distracted by outside sounds. Listening to a guided meditation for the first few times can also help. Being in a quiet room can also help you to start to relax in preparation for sleep. If you wish to use aroma therapy in conjunction with your meditation practice, you can also add some relaxing essential oils to a diffuser before you begin.
3.) Focus On Each Part of Your Body In Turn
A great practice for those who are just starting out with meditation is to try to focus on each part of the body from head to toe, one body part at a time. This will help to clear your mind of external distractions and worrisome thoughts. This is also known as body scan relaxation. You will imagine each body part in turn, feel the sensations in that area, and then concentrate on fully relaxing that part of your body. Then you will move on to the next part. For example, starting at your toes, you would imagine your toes and feet relaxing, then when they feel fully relaxed, move on the the ankles, etc.. Not only does this help to clear your mind and achieve the mental benefits of meditation, it also helps to physically relax your body fully to prepare you for a night of restful sleep.
Since these practices can be very relaxing, you may want to prepare yourself for bed before doing your meditation. That way when you are finished, you can slip right into bed and off into dreamland!