3 easy ways to get the rest you want even if you aren't getting the sleep you need

Today I am sharing the single the most crucial element for effortlessly creating a life you love.

Now, if you're thinking take a vacation 4 times a year, eat healthy or write in a gratitude journal everyday those are pretty important too but...

...there's one more thing that's more essential. In fact everything else I teach is literally and figuratively based on it.  

Unfortunately for me, it was elusive for the first 2 years of my daughter's life.

However, when I eventually made it a priority things that we really hard instantly became easier:
• Cravings for sugar - sliced in half
• Excuses for not taking care of myself in other ways -vanished
• Happiness level - through the roof

Eager to know what it is?

It's REST.

Look back over the week. Did you notice the days you felt happier, ate better even worked out more? I'm willing to guess you had a great night sleep. Now I know it's hard to get a full 8 hours when you're trying to juggle health, family, friends, work and a side business. (If you're crazy like me).

Here are 3 basic tension and relaxation techniques to help you get the rest you want even if you aren't getting the sleep you need:

1. Eye relaxation (palming)

For this technique place your palms directly over your closed eyes. Block out all light without putting too much pressure on your eyelids. Try to see the color black. You may see other colors or images, but focus on the color black. Use a mental image to remember to color black (your cool black leather jacket would work well.)

Continue this way for 2-3 minutes, thinking and focusing on the color black. Lower your hands and slowly open your eyes, gradually getting accustomed to the light. Experience the sense of relaxation in the muscles that control the opening and closing of your eyes.

This is also a fun exercise you can do with your kids starting at the age of about 7 years old.

2. Metaphorical Images

For this exercise, lie down and close your eyes. Visualize an image that represents tension. The best images are those you make up yourself, but here are some that work for me:

  • The color red

  • The screech my children make when they are fighting (a personal favorite)

  • The tension of a cable

  • The scream of a siren at night

  • The pounding of a jackhammer

Then replace it with an image that represents relaxation. Again, choose your own, but here are some that work for me:

  • The color red can fade to pale blue

  • The screech of my children fades to giggles of play

  • The cable can slacken

  • The siren might soften to a whisper of a flute

  • The Jackhammer might become the hands of your partner giving you a massage.

As you scan your body, apply your tension image to a tense muscle. Allow it to develop into your relaxation image. For example, if my neck were tense, I might visualize a tightened vise. Then, I'd imagine the vise opening as I say the affirmation "Relaaaax."

End by reciting your affirmation. Speak to the specific tenseness as you apply the relaxation image. Observe what happens to your tension.

3. Listening to music

Listening to music is one of the most common forms of relaxation. However, we all give our own meaning to music. It's important that when you want to listen to music for the purpose of relaxation that you choose music you find peaceful and soothing. In other words, your kid's music together CD is not the best choice here. 

I personally like this piano music.

To get the most out of this tip, find a half hour of uninterrupted time to be alone (probably after kids are asleep.) Put on your music, settle back into a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Mentally scan your body, noting areas of tension, pain, and relaxation. Be aware of your mood as you focus your attention on the music

Each time an unrelated thought enters your head note it and then discard it, remembering your goal of focusing on the music and relaxing. You can say an affirmation like "music relaxes me."

When the music ends, allow your mind to scan your body again and become aware of how it feels. Does your body feel different than before you started the exercise?

Head on over to our Facebook group and let us know which exercise you chose and how it made you feel.