Switching Gears

Beth Irvine Health Guide
  • Think back to the time of your childhood.  Most of us, as kids, mastered the art of riding a bicycle. Can you remember how daunting it felt - fearful, yet completely focused on balancing, maneuvering the pedals, and guiding the handlebars - all at once? How it almost felt impossible. Anytime we learn something new, it feels a little scary.

    Its like riding a bike
    Children and adults alike can struggle with constant thoughts appearing in their mind and have trouble "switching gears" to fall asleep at night. Learning how to let your body and mind relax is just like riding a bike.  A six or seven year old may feel intimidated to master the balance and coordination of riding on two wheels, however perseverance and the desire to do it guided you in learning. And, no matter how long it's been since you've been on a bike, when you get back on, it comes back to you. Learning skills of relaxation through the avenue of breathing and body awareness empowers you with a remedy to relax your body and quiet your mind.

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    Try these simple tips to relax your body and mind: 5 Minute Relaxation

    • Start with dedicating 5 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning, and 5 minutes before you go to sleep at night.
    • Bring all of your attention to what you can feel (your body lying on the bed, covers touching your skin, hair on you head, etc.)
    • Bring all of your attention to what you can hear (listen for all the sounds that you can hear, allowing your awareness to move from sound to sound)
    • Bring all of your attention to your breath (notice that you are breathing, notice that you have an inhalation and an exhalation. Follow your breath, in and out)

    Pays back big dividends

    Start small, dedicate 5 minutes morning and evening, and the pay back will be in big dividends as you learn how to use this relaxation skill. Just as in riding a bike, once you learn- you'll never forget.

    See related article:
    A Good Night Sleep- For Mother and Child

Published On: October 18, 2008