Having a good day begins with getting a good night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, stress from our day can make that difficult at times. Worrying about our to-do lists, things that happened during the day, and the million and seven other things we have running through our minds can sometimes make it difficult to turn off our brains, so to speak.
Fortunately, there are lots of things we can do to get a good night’s rest….
One of my personal favorites? Meditation.
Now, before we go any further, if you are consistently having difficulty sleeping, then I absolutely recommend seeking medical attention to rule out any health concerns.
But if your sleep struggles are mindset and stress-related, then meditation may be just the ticket.
Easy Evening Meditation
Now, I’ve said before in my post with my Quick Morning Meditation, I’m all about doing things that are fast, easy and effective. And since I didn’t have a go-to meditation for sleep time, I created one!
Here it is:
If you’d like to get your own copy to download and listen to wherever you are, you can get it here.
There are Lots of Ways to Meditate
A quick Google search of types of meditations will give you well over 6 million answers. That’s a lot, eh? I’m by no means an expert in meditation, but I have picked up a few goodies in the last decade of evolving my own practice.
Here are three of my favorite ways to meditate. I tend to stick to methods that are easy and can fit into an action-packed schedule. These aren’t necessarily the official names, but they’re how I best remember them.
This is where someone talks you through something to imagine (like I do in the video above).
Guided visualization meditation is one of my favorite techniques. I find it easier to stay focused when I have someone talking me through the process.
The only caveat I’ll throw in is that you need to find someone who’s voice, tempo, and tone you enjoy. Otherwise, the whole process is distracting and self-defeating.
This is where you repeat a mantra, and focus on that.
I like doing meditations this way too. It can be helpful to think of a simple phrase, such as “I am whole. I am happy. I let go.” You can either think it, say it, or chant it.
Again, it’s easy because you can use whatever phrase you want, and it’s pretty easy to stay focused when you’re thinking of one little nugget of goodness over and over.
This is where you focus solely on your breath. You can count your breaths in and out (like “1-2-3-4” as you inhale, and “1-2-3-4-5-6” while you exhale), think the words “in” and “out,” or simply breathe and focus on the feeling in your body.
I like to use this one especially when I’m in a situation where I don’t have a bunch of time, or where it’s not convenient to meditate. You can do this (eyes open, of course) in a meeting when you feel yourself getting triggered, while driving, or when dealing with certain people who are especially good at pushing your buttons.
Some folks are really great at maintaining this technique for extended meditation sessions. Me? Not so much. 😉 I prefer one of the other methods when I’m looking to meditate for longer periods. But anytime I feel my jaw clench, this is my instant fixer-upper.
Which Type of Meditation is Right For Me?
If you’re wondering which way is the best way to meditate, well…. It all depends. The only real answer is: that you have to do some experimenting and find out which way you like.
And don’t be surprised if what works for you one day just plain gets on your nerves another. Every moment is different, and sometimes we need different things to match our moods.
But I encourage you to keep giving it a go! It’s easy to get discouraged as you first start (or even if you’ve meditated before, and find yourself in a slump). But the benefits are amazing, as science repeatedly shows us. (Check out my post here, or the findings of Dr. Sara Lazar at Harvard if you’re curious to learn more.)
Curious to learn more about the basics of meditation? I covered the easy process I use in this post on a Quick Morning Meditation to start your day off right.
So, I hope that was helpful! And if you’d like to get both my Morning Meditation and Evening Meditation to download and listen to whenever you’d like, click here! (Plus they’re each just about 6 minutes long, and they do the job beautifully, if I do say so myself.)