Meditation Techniques for Relaxation

meditation

So, you’re interested in learning how to meditate your way to relaxation. There are so many health benefits to meditation and it’s known to help you fall asleep faster and have better sleep quality.

When you meditate, a variety of physiological changes occur. These changes initiate sleep by influencing specific processes in your body, including:

  • increase natural melatonin production
  • increase serotonin (precursor of melatonin)
  • reduce heart rate
  • decrease blood pressure
  • activate parts of the brain that control sleep
 

Your body experiences similar changes in the early stages of sleep. As a result, meditation can promote sleep by initiating these changes.

A lot of sleep problems can be attributed to daily stress and anxieties. Meditation helps your body to improve its natural relaxation response, and it can reduce nighttime awakenings by improving the control of your autonomic nervous system. In a 2015 study, researchers found that mindfulness meditation reduced insomnia symptoms and daytime fatigue

Whether you want a do-it-yourself method or you’d prefer to be guided by a track, we have all the best techniques for you to try right here in this list, along with links to helpful apps and resources!

✨ BODY SCAN

Body scan is a really popular form of mindfulness meditation. Adults who regularly engage in the body scan report greater psychological well-being, self-compassion, less reactivity to stress, and lower levels of depression. Improving all of these areas can reduce stress and anxieties, and improve self-love that can counter some of your inner saboteur that tries to keep you up all night.

All you have to do is let your mind focus on each part of your body in a slow progressive meditation:

Start with your toes. Bring your focus to each individual toe, one at a time, then slowly move up to your foot, your heel, your ankle, your shin…take time to focus on each part of your body as you slowly make your way up to your head. Relax each body part as you focus on it.

✨ GUIDED MEDIATION

There are many many many many apps that you can download for guided meditation tracks! Here is a list of the ones we recommend:

PODCAST
Tara Brach: Named #1 in Guided Meditation in 2021

✨ PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION

Research has found that this technique can teach your body to fall asleep quicker by increasing your levels of mental quiet and joy and can even reduce chronic pain which could cause you to have trouble falling asleep.

Try this simple exercise yourself by:

  1. Tensing each of your muscle groups, one at a time

  2. Releasing the tension and easing the muscles into a moment of relaxation 

PMR RESOURCES

✨ YOGA NIDRA

This ancient Indian technique is a more intense form of mediation. Yoga Nidra is used to take your mind to a place between sleep and wakefulness, and is incredible for relieving stress (it’s even been used to help soldiers recover from PTSD).

During a Yoga Nidra session, the goal is complete relaxation in all of your senses, and some say that just a one-hour session can leave you feeling like you just slept for an entire night.

If you’re a Yoga Nidra pro, or if you have a routine that you enjoy using, GO YOU! But if you’re not already a pro in Yoga Nidra, it is recommended to use a guided track:

Check out Rested Health’s masterlist of relaxation techniques for even more ways to help you reduce stress, fall asleep faster, and improve your sleep quality!

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