Meditation and Relaxation Techniques

This is the place to explain the method of relaxation you use – from the Alexander technique to reiki and much much more.

Posted 6 Aug 2012 at 3:53 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi andymoir, I have been practising Tai Chi off and on over the years. I do the Taoist Tai chi method being taught in my area which is gentle non martial art style. If find this slow movement activity is like a meditation and exercise all in one. It is reasonably priced to take a beginner's class and if you are Senior, even a better discount. I believe it can be an adjunct to help with sleep if done on a regular basis. It is calming and you are getting the benefit of circulation, balance and fitness.

    Here is the info – google, Taoist Tai Chi Society of Britain or for international areas www.taoist.org and follow the links. Thanks for bring this up Andymoir , as well as the Qigong exercise (I will try later). This is a reminder for me to do it more often. Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Ideas for falling back to sleep?
    I have tried listening to hypnosis for sleep on ipod
    EFT-tapping
    Deep breathing
    Progressive relaxation
    But my mind wonders back to concerns and To-List
    I eat healthy, exercise and do yoga for stress…
    Open to ANY new ideas you have!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi NNH, and anybody else interested in Meditation and Relaxation Techniques. The same posted information is also listed under “what to do when you wake up at night”

    Here are a few additional ideas that I used which was helpful:

    Sleep Pillow – a free app on iPad that offers several nature sounds that you can set a time to (10 minutes, 20 minutes) my favourite is the “lapping” lake sound.

    Headspace Meditation – a 10 minute beginner daily meditation which is convenient and effective. This is found on-line/app with a free 10 day trial.

    Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, a cd (or iTunes) of various breath exercises. The most effective is the 4-7-8 breath which I do on a regular basis. These breath exercises take a little practise but worth the effort.

    Guided relaxation CD by Eli Bay, “Sleep”. Has two guided 23 minute segments, “Imagine a space” and “Sleep Nauturally”.

    The CD, “Healing Sleep” by Brain Sync, Kelly Howell – this flowing music is designed to balance the brainwaves.

    This may not appeal to everyone but works for me is – self massage around the head, temples, face, feet, arms, with aromatherapy oil “sleep” blend.

    PS: others in the Community here have highly recommended “Tired but Wired” by Nerina Ramlakhan, and “Mindfulness: A Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams. (Waiting to receive my order from a bookstore)

    Hope this helps.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Meditation and mindfulness are recognised as beneficial generally including for chronic conditions (e g Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis website.) I have made attempts lifelong to establish a practice without success, and keep trying – I'll soon have more favourable circumstances time-wise but it was when I was working intensively that I was most aware of needing a resource of inner calm and peace mentally. I'd be grateful for anyone's experience and maybe others would too. Many thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hey what´s up, I have to say that session one has already helped me a lot, I was never really conscious of the vicious cycle of not-sleeping, but now it´s painfully obvious!
    I have achieved immediate results using Mantra Yoga now that I know this though, and I think everyone could benefit from this. Just make a mantra like “I can always sleep well”(that´s mine) and recite it as often as possible while going about your day. Believe as much as possible. It should eventually be barely noticeable that you´re doing it, thus it seeps into your subconscious and breaks the cycle. See if it works for you too; can´t hurt right?

  • Sleepio Member

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    I would like to second the mindfulness recommendations. Mindfulness has many many benefits in my experience, just in relation to sleep when I do it regularly(daily) even for a short while it definitely improves my sleep.

    I'd like to aadd concentration meditation, where you spend say 15 minutes focussing attention on the breath. In reality your mind goes all over the place but keep gently and kindly bringing it back and you'll begin to experience a really relaxing refreshed state of mind.

    One thing on meditation though is to be wary of overdoing it as it can sometimes bring up emotional stuff which you'd forgotten which can disrupt you. That said, you can take those memories and apply mindfulness to them once you're able to and find their charge will dissolve leaving you better off.

    Movementwise I haven't seen Feldenkrais mentioned yet. It's a really gentle movement philosophy where you go through a series of movements with the goal of learning to do them better. That means no pushing through the burn or stretch, just letting go and learning. Also very relaxing and helpful to do.

    Overall I find when I do these activities before bed or any time of day and my mind feels ready to jump into relax mode when it's time. When I started this program I was stressed out, taking exams and didn't think I had time to do them. Now that I'm practicing again it's made such a huge difference,

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi,

    I recently discovered that the problem I've suffered from for years, is in fact anxiety/depression.

    My Mother suffered from depression for 30+ years, so should have guessed really, but perhaps didn't want to admit it to myself? lol

    Recently I've been struggling to sleep and my Doctor prescribed me 7.5mg Zopicone sleeping tablets, that do seem to work very well re sleeping problem, which in turn helps with the overall anxiety/depression, in respect of not being quite so tired throughout the day.

    What really has helped tremendously though over the last few days is meditation. I don't mean having to go out to meditation classes etc, but simply working with a few well chosen anxiety/depression/sleep related meditations that I've found on youtube and tuning in via my TV, whilst relaxing on my sofa. I listened to quite a few people initially, but the person that I've found to be far and away the best to listen to is Michael Sealey. He does some excellent meditations that I've been using morning and night and I have to say that I feel incredible compared to just 3 days ago. The meditations completely quiet the mind as well relieving the physical pain that I was feeling (can't believe I use the word 'was')
    I simply couldn't have even written this message 4 days ago to be honest?

    Anyway, I hope this info helps somebody out there and if you want to chat, you know where to find me.

    Martin x

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you. Very useful. I do meditation every day and it is an essential part of my life these days.But have never heard of Michael Sealey. I will check him out. I hope you continue to benefit from meditation.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Pleasure. I also find the Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle very helpful in quieting the mind, which in turn helps regarding sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    I find the spiritual teachings of Eckhart Tolle extremely useful in helping quieten the thinking mind, which in turn greatly helps me with my sleeping pattern. Martin

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thank you for suggesting this. I have always resisted meditation, but I think I’m finally ready to try it. There are so many names out there, and it’s good to have a recommendation.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Pleasure. He mainly does guided hypnosis based meditations, so you can you simply lie down, relax and let him do the work.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Try a white noise machine with nature sounds of all kinds. Now picture yourself in that nature scenario. Listen, watch, taste the rain on your tongue if it is raining, feel the breeze. Really get into it with all your senses. Sometimes a warm or lukewarm shower depending on season and hot tea (often chamomile) no matter the season, sipped slowly and imagine yourself in the nature scenario or in soft, peaceful music. Imagery, mindfulness, breathing, low lighting or none, low volumes, room temperature…you should have all so it is most relaxing to you alone. If you have a partner, you may have to have an open, clear discussion regarding your needs.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Has anyone found a really good meditation to help them return to sleep? lately I am waking at 4-5am with a surge of adrenaline and am wide awake… my alarm is set for 6am so i tend to panic because I know I have little time to get back to sleep which means of course I then do not.

    I need something strong! i've tried headspace, yoga nidra, calming breath and all the sleep ones and they don't work.. in fact muscle relaxation seems to stress me more.

    Any help? xxx

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi burnsie, do you have names of his meditations that you have found helpful? There’s a lot on YouTube, and for purchase. I’m not sure which ones to use. It sounds like I would benefit from the ones that have worked for you. Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Auntie Hoho, no specific names really. Just the free guided meditations for sleeplessness, readily available on youtube.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Sleepio peeps,

    I've been successful using a strategy I learned from a hypnosis on insomnia recording. It's a part of the recording that makes all the difference. It works with any type of thought you don't want to engage in. It's simple and takes minimal time. I would like to share it so hopefully someone finds it helpful.
    You'll likely agree that one cannot control having thoughts, but you can control what you do with them.

    This is all you do:
    ~ Mentally acknowledge that you are having thoughts about _____
    ~ Imagine having a remote control. See it in your mind.
    ~ This remote control has several buttons. One button pushes thoughts out into the distance. Another button flips thoughts. Another stretches thoughts out until they become spaghetti thin. Another button folds thoughts lengthwise, while another folds thoughts in the other direction.
    You get the idea…add more ways to manipulate the thought in space--crinkle it up, shrink it.
    ~ see this in your mind. See the crazy thought doing each command you make with the remote.
    ~ At the same time you are doing this: whenever a voice in your head speaks about the thought, you push a button to slow down that voice. Make it progressively very very slow. Then make the voice low in pitch. Get lower and lower.
    ~You use your remote control to help you deal with the unwanted thoughts. With it, you CAN control your insomnia (so the recording says)

    I have often fallen back to sleep using this technique. It makes you get distracted from the churning thoughts because of all the remote control button YOU push. The resulting effects is that the thought fades.
    I pray it works for you too! I hope you'll let me know. Sleep well!

  • Sleepio Member

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    The best meditation app I found so far is a free one called Insight Timer. It takes a little time to work out the best practices and meditations, I personally like what is called Guided Meditations as you can concentrate on that instead of the racing brain.

    My greatest sleep problem is actually falling asleep but there are relaxation techniques etc and they are very varied. For example if listening to the birds in a forest would be calming or a river stream, then they are there. Music, stories, other help etc too. I find the guided ones help most and I've now got a solution to somewhat help me fall asleep once I'm exhausted, which is normal for me, but this is just one element of course.

    It may also be helpful to people that wake in the night too, but as this isn't my particular issue I'm not sure but definitely worth a try.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi featherly,

    That's a really neat idea, I'll try that, thank you.

    Here's my take in case it helps anyone.

    I try to think of thoughts as being visitors banging on the door of my mind. Some I'll invite in and spend some happy time with, but the rest need the door slamming in their face lol.

    It's a process, but every time I catch myself thinking about something which isn't helping me, I push it out the door and slam it.

    Keeping my mind in 'now' really helps. My poor mind isn't equipped to deal with things it can't change – it needs all its 'RAM' for things it can do something about – so I bang the door on any thoughts about the past (even if it happened just a minute ago) and thoughts about the future too. Past and future are not burdens I'm designed to carry; they are too heavy.

    When I find myself getting stressed, I sit down and mentally go through all my senses. What can I hear, feel, taste, see, smell; investigating each one curiously for a few moments. It seems to help my mind drop other thoughts when there's a rush on the 'front door' and I can't slam it quick enough :). I'll try your remote control too. blessings to you x

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    I just wondered if meditation is classed as passive relaxation.

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