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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How To Sleep Better By Using A Relaxation Technique

Today, I was at my psychologist's office. The issues we worked on were my erratic sleep patterns. I go through periods of being awake for long hours, sometimes 24 hours or more, and then spend entire days sleeping. I have extreme difficulty falling asleep when it is time to sleep. Today, she taught me how to sleep better by using a relaxation technique.

You can do this technique sitting or lying down. First, create a quiet, interruption free environment. Turn off the TV or any music. Take your phone off the hook or set it to vibrate. Make sure the kids are sleeping.

Because we were in her office, we did this exercise seated.

The technique begins by getting comfortable, closing your eyes and letting out a signal breath; this is a deep exhale, letting all of the air out of your lungs. Start to breath slowly and deeply, taking long steady inward breaths through your nose, followed by long exhales through your mouth - clearing your lungs. Continue breathing at a long and steady pace.

As you are breathing, imagine a bright light around your midsection. Think about the light traveling up across your face, over the top of your head. Allow the light to continue down your spine and work its way to your feet, releasing all of your tension. Continue imagining this light grabbing tension in your body, traveling up and over your head, down your spine and out of your feet.

After a minute or two of you focusing on the light, picture one of your favorite places. It can be a real place or an imaginary place. It should be a peaceful scene. Continue breathing and concentrate on that place. Really concentrate on this place. Try to think of as much detail as possible.

Picture the surroundings. Is there water? How does it sound? Feel the warmth of the sun on your body. Are there animals or people? What does the landscape look like? What time of the day is it? Is the sun low or high in the sky?

In your special place, sit down. Drink in the surroundings. Breath in - long and slow. Exhale - long and slow. Keep focused on this scene until you can fully imagine and feel its peace.

If your body still feels tense, start telling yourself that the tension is melting away from whatever part of your body is tense. If your arms are tense, tell yourself that they are becoming relaxed and heavy. Likewise, for your legs or your shoulders.

As we did this exercise in her office, I became extremely relaxed. It took me a few minutes to come out of the trance-like state I had achieved.

Part of me was thinking that it was soothing to hear my psychologist reading the instructions. Maybe I just need someone to read me a story at night.

This relaxation technique worked well in her office. I need to practice it at home. Try it yourself. You may sleep deeper and more relaxed.

I'm glad I found out how to sleep better by using a relaxation technique.

Related articles on this site:
Five Steps To Recovery From Mental Illness
Recovery From Mental Illness Should Include Groups
Mental Illness | My Psychiatrist Says My Mental Health Is Improving
The Stigma Of Mental Illness
Mental Illness | Mentally Ill Live Lives Of Quiet Shame, Anger Or Pain
Mental Illness | Catherine Zeta-Jones Treated For Bipolar II Disorder
How To Sleep Better By Using A Relaxation Technique
Mental Illness | Dealing With Symptoms of Panic Attacks And Anxiety Disorder

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