Friday, June 27, 2008

Turning off the monkey mind

I haven't been sleeping well lately...too many ideas and projects swirling around in my brain. But I know that if I'm not careful, that creative flow will cease. Abruptly. Especially if I can't get some rest. Plus my kids are sick of me being cranky with them because I'm tired!

So here are a couple of things I tried that seemed to help:

Progressive Relaxation: Probably nothing new to most of you. I've heard of it before but for some reason it slipped off my radar. Now I am using it when I'm sitting at the computer or laying in bed at night. Pick a starting point, the feet work best for me. Consciously flex your feet as hard as you can, then relax them. Next move to your lower legs, flex then relax. And on and on until you have relaxed your entire body or you have fallen asleep, whichever comes first. I also like to envision a ball of sparkly, white light (think sparklers at the 4th of July) starting at my feet and drifting across my entire body, completely relaxing me as it goes.

Breathing Exercises: I learned this one from Andrew Weil in his book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. It is an ancient yogic breathing practice. You want your tongue in the yogic position. Place the tip of your tongue behind and just above your teeth on the soft skin there. Start by exhaling fully. You want to make a loud whooshing sound as you exhale. Then breathe in for a count of four. Next hold your breath for a count of seven. Then breathe out for a count of eight making the whooshing sound again. Repeat that whole cycle four times. My brain always quiets down after that one!

You can also try counting backwards along with your breathing. For example, breathe in and out, that is twenty, in and out, nineteen...keep going until your mind wanders. Keep practicing until you can get to one without losing concentration. You can start with ten if you are struggling to get to one from twenty.

Next week on Fall Back Friday, we'll talk about how taking a "breathing break" can help your writing!


Chiron said...

Always good to remember to relax and breathe!

And there's always the old favorite:

Ommmmmmmmmm! Personally, I think the gentle purr of a kitty is simply a feline Ommmmm... *smile*

Happy Monday!


Tiffany James said...


So true! A good loud "aaaahhhhh" resonates in my throat and chest in a deeply relaxing, "glad to be alive" way.

Thanks for visiting.


Kerrie said...

Great reminder Tiffany. It is amazing how we can forget to do something as simple as deep breaths.

Happy relaxing!

Tiffany James said...


So true - glad the reminders was useful for you!