Feb 252010

Woman sleepingYou’re trying to get to sleep, but your mind is spinning with thoughts from the day. Or you wake you up in the middle of the night only to find your mind still spinning. Then you get anxious that you won’t be able to function the next day. On and on it goes.

How would it feel to be to go to sleep easily, and stay asleep until you wake feeling refreshed?

When your mind is keeping you awake, your thoughts are probably focused on something that happened in the past – such as a meeting that didn’t go well last week, or the future – such as resolving a conflict with a friend tomorrow.

The key to a calm mind – that will allow you to sleep – is to bring yourself into the present moment, where thoughts about the past and future evaporate.

Three ways to a calm mind

Here are three very different approaches to calm your mind. See which one works for you.

1. Use the TAT Pose

The TAT Pose, which forms the basis of the Tapas Acupressure Technique, is a simple way to place your hands on the front and back of your head, that quickly takes you into a more calm and peaceful state.

We’ll use the Child’s version of the Pose which is easier to hold in bed. Cradle the back of your head in one hand with your thumb along your hairline at the top of your neck. Place the other palm across your forehead, low down so the edge of your hand touches the bridge of your nose.

Relax, and notice yourself feeling progressively more calm….

2. Open up your heart

Most of your thinking goes on in your head, so it’s a good idea to take your attention elsewhere!

As you breathe out, allow your attention to drop down to your heart area. On each outbreath, mentally say ‘Aaah’ to yourself – the sound that opens up your heart. Allow your heart to expand and open.
If your attention wanders, gently bring it back to your heart, and continue to open it more, and feel yourself becoming more calm.

3. Sense the aliveness in your body

First, ask yourself ‘ Am I still breathing?’ That question quickly brings your focus to your body, and the present moment.

Then take your attention to your toes, and notice how they feel – see if you can sense the edges of your toes. Then see if you can feel the energy, or aliveness, inside your toes.

Repeat this sensing of aliveness for the rest of your foot, then your ankles, then your lower leg. Slowly move up your body sensing the aliveness in each part. Hopefully you won’t get too far before you nod off!

The Delicious Nugget: When a spinning mind stops you from sleeping, you can calm it down by: using the TAT Pose, opening your heart, or sensing the aliveness in your body.

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