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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work

00:00

00:00

Routine

4.5

Duration

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Calm Your Nervous System

This pre-sleep routine is designed to help settle your nervous system, lower your heart rate, and calm your mind and body as you transition into deep sleep.

Hi, welcome to this pre-sleep routine.

This routine is specifically designed

to help settle your nervous system,

lower your heart rate and cultivate a

quality of calm in your mind and body,

helping you transition into deep sleep.

During this routine, we will be going

through a three-part process of one,

making space for what's happening in our

minds and bodies; two, lowering the heart

rate to help transition the nervous system

into sleep; and three, giving the mind a

calm place to dwell through visualization.

I do encourage you to listen to

this session in the location where

you plan to fall asleep, as it

will allow for seamless transition.

Once you're settled in, you can

close your eyes and we'll take the

first couple of minutes just to

ground ourselves after a long day.

Sometimes even when we have the

opportunity to be still, the mind

and the body are still going.

It's as if the momentum of the

day is still moving through us.

So see if you can notice any

of that happening within you.

As soon as you become aware of it, you're

no longer fueling it or reacting to it.

And so this will help some of that excess

energy just start to run its course, pass

into gray and overall begin to settle.

Notice what the mind is thinking about.

Are there any particular thought loops?

And you can just notice them.

Not fueling the thoughts, not trying to

get rid of the thoughts, just watching

the mind play out whenever script it

feels the need to play out right now.

And it's the same thing with the body.

Notice if there are any emotions.

Any sensations.

Or just a sense of the body buzzing.

All we're doing is making space.

So often we contract around

the experience that is present.

Tensing, creating more

stress, more frustration.

And so you can think of this

holding space as one big exhale.

We're just relaxing into what is here,

letting go of any sort of gripping

or trying to control or manipulate

the experience that is present.

We're just letting go.

And so now that we've settled in

a bit, grounded ourselves into

where we are, we're going to more

intentionally help lower the heart

rate so that the nervous system can

transition more easily into sleep.

Deep breathing is a great way

to do this, specifically the

four-seven-eight breathing pattern.

The way this will work is we

breathe in for four seconds.

Hold the breath for seven seconds.

And then exhale slowly for eight seconds.

So let's try this out

and I'll count for you.

So breathing in for four

seconds, one, two, three, four.

Holding for seven, six,

five, four, three, two, one.

Exhale for eight, seven, six,

five, four, three, two, one.

Good job.

It may be difficult at first to hold the

breath for seven seconds and even more

difficult to exhale for eight seconds.

So to help with that, you can just

imagine that you're blowing hot

air on a cold window like this.

But then make that sound

while closing your mouth.

This will constrict the airways and

really help you eat elongate that exhale.

So let's try this again, I'll count

and as you are exhaling, see if

you can release any tension that

might be lingering in the body.

Breathing in for one, two, three, four.

Holding for seven, six,

five, four, three, two, one.

Exhale for eight, seven, six,

five, four, three, two, one.

Good job.

Now that you have that this down, I'm

going to give you some time in silence

to practice this breathing pattern.

I'll do it for a couple of minutes

and just repeat it over and over.

Each time you exhale, really feel

as though you're sinking deeper into

the surface beneath you, relaxing

the mind, softening the body and just

surrendering more and more deeply.

I'll give you some time in silence.

If you notice the mind wandering, you

just gently bring it back to this breath.

Letting the breath soothe

your body, relax the body.

And also give the mind some place

to rest its focus so that it's not

so caught up in the agitation of

thoughts, ideas, and judgements.

Just continuing this pattern

of four-seven-eight breathing.

Just noticing how you're

feeling right now.

You're welcome to continue this

breathing pattern, or allow the breath

to come back to its natural rhythm.

For the final stage of this pre sleep

routine, we're going to give the mind a

safe, peaceful, and calm place to dwell.

And we'll use some

visualization to do this.

So as you rest here, cozy, warm,

maybe under the covers, allow

yourself to get even more comfortable.

Adjusting your posture ever so slightly,

be more settled in or to feel more safe,

more at ease and more ready for sleep.

And allow your mind to imagine the most

peaceful place that it can imagine.

A place where there's no stress,

where it's calm, where you're safe.

And where you can totally let go.

This may be a place that is familiar,

that you've been, or a place you

create entirely new in your own mind.

But see yourself, in

your mind, resting there.

Feeling at ease.

Letting go.

And feeling deeply nourished by

a sense of safety, comfort, and

ease around you and within you.

It's okay to feel the goodness and the

warmth of that throughout your body.

Breathing it in and letting

it relax you more deeply.

With every exhale, letting

go of that much more.

It's okay to shut off for the night.

It's okay to let go.

It's okay to transition into sleep.

Letting your mind rest

in this peaceful place,

where everything is okay, where you

are safe, and where you can let go.

Thank you for your practice.

Have a wonderful sleep and take care.

Similar to this

Letting Go Into SleepMeditation by Melli O'Brien
Melli O'Brien

Letting Go Into Sleep

Meditation · 25 mins4.5

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