Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Top 3 Tips to Happy Sleeping when you have an active mind

One of the main reasons why people come to me for sessions is that they are exhausted - they're sick of being sick; their mind is on overdrive and not going to a happy place; and they're tired of searching for that "one thing" that will give them the key to more enlightenment, more peace, and more joy. Does this resonate with you?

I know how that feels, believe me!  I have been there, done that! AND I have come through the dark tunnel and developed many tools and practices along the way that support me wholesomely, body-mind-spirit. (See, there is always a bright side and Light after the dark!)  Below are my top 3 tips and techniques to get out of that spiral of heavy muck (when you're there, it does feel heavy, doesn't it?)

1.  Recognize the role of thoughts and emotions in your overall health
Several recent researches have proven that thoughts have a huge impact on emotional and bodily responses.  I'm sure you're familiar with the Pavlovian response: imagine a bowl of freshly picked and quartered lemons...  become aware of your bodily responses such as salivation or puckering up in anticipation of the acidity.  Become aware also of the emotional responses.  Thinking of lemons make me feel good because they remind me of summer, warm weather and possible trips to the Mediterranean. (Hmmmm  I'll stay with this thought for a while longer...)
From this very brief experience - because I am not starting an exposé on electroencephalograms and deep medical findings that get too intricate to explain in a few short paragraphs - can you agree that your thoughts affect how you feel in your body and in your emotions?

2.   Realize that you have the power of choice
So now the question is: would you prefer having fun thoughts that make you feel good all over, or do you want to stay in the pattern of negative thinking that brought you to this mess in the first place?  I know, that inner voice is already telling you that you can't do this, that you can't change your thoughts because they just happen and pop up in your mind without invitation just when you are getting cozy in bed.  But I'm challenging you here:  who else is in your head thinking your thoughts?  It's all you, sweetie pie.  And you are the boss of you - unless you gave your power away to the amazing brain ghost who latches onto your brain and thinks bad thoughts for you.    
It takes practice, will and support, I know, to change the pattern of thinking icky thoughts expecially just before bed and to turn them into endorphin-producing, feel-good thoughts. Many nights I have spent repeating to myself, "Yes, I acknowledge this thought and now I choose to release it because it is not serving my highest good at this time. I choose to think about flowers instead."  And if suddenly the flowers turned into monsters, I would use my magical brain, imagination and will to guide my thoughts to an other happy place.  

3.   Exorcise with exercise
My experience with my own active mind and what I have learned with my clients is that one of the reasons why people stay in a cesspool of negative thoughts is because they live in their minds and not in their bodies.  When no amount of positive redirecting is working, I muster the energy to get up and out of bed for a quick yoga session to get me out of that headspace and into my body.  You see, the body lives in the present moment while the mind has difficulty staying put and travels to your past or possible horrific future, thus causing sadness, stress and anxiety.  Exorcise it with exercise and get back in the present moment!  I find that stretching my legs is the best remedy.  When I don't feel like doing "official" yoga, I simply walk to the bathroom, rest one leg on the side of the tub as I hold on to the vanity's countertop, and bend forward to stretch glutes and hamstrings.  I hold for approximately 5 long breaths, then repeat with the other leg.  Then I keep holding on to the countertop for a quad stretch, holding one foot up behind me, then the other for an other 5 breaths each.  Finally, I hang like a rag doll, stretching the back of my legs and lower back for an other 5 breaths, knowing that reversed poses nourish the brain.  Hopefully I have completed this exercise without waking up the dog and getting my face thoroughly licked.  I am then typically ready for bed again.  Unless I have to re-wash my face. 

Once you recognize that you're in charge of your mind  - and not the other way around- when you're ready to make different choices to better care for yourself body, mind and spirit, then I can help you and support you with more energetic and spiritual practices.  You need to want it first, though, and you need to be ready to implement the practices I - and Spirit- will prescribe you.

Sending you much Love and Light, and happy thoughts for a happy sleep!

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