CALMING BEDTIME RITUALS
It's helpful to start your nightly calming ritual with a few relaxation breaths. Takes just a minute and really helps. Here we go...
Take a deep, deep breath through your nose. Deeeeep - and slow - and release it slowly through your pursed lips - like blowing a kiss - all the way out...
Once more - another deep, deep breath - in through your nose - count up to 8 - Sit up straight so you can fill your lungs all the way to the bottom - and very slowly, very gently - out through your pursed lips as you count down from 8...
Close your eyes, relax your muscles and allow the tension to leave your body.
And one more deeeeep breath - in through your nose - and - blow kiss - out slowly and gently through your pursed lips. And relax your muscles - all over - every muscle - just relaaaax - like butter - like crusty, old snow melting on a warm, sunny day - from the tip of your head to the tip of your toes.
Feel a bit better? We hope so.
A. "THE THREESIES"
Here's a little ritual you can adopt to help you unwind at the end of the day and give yourself a positive closure on the day.
Once you're in bed and ready to go to sleep, remind yourself of 3 blessings you received during the day that you're grateful for, then 3 things you accomplished during the day; and then 3 things you plan to accomplish the next day. This leaves you with a positive feeling about your day and positive goals for the future - both of which are calming and reassuring as you settle down to go to sleep.
If you find three of each too easy, move up to five: 5 blessings, 5 accomplishments, 5 things to do tomorrow. [I often do this ritual - and frequently find I've fallen asleep in the middle of step 1 - Blessings... Jonella ]
By the way - The day's "blessings" can be things like: It was gorgeous weather - It DIDN'T rain! - They can be long-term blessings, such as, "I love my house, I'm so glad I have it" - or they can be particular to that day, "Sam called and made me feel so good!..."
B. THE LOVELY MEMORY RITUAL
Another pleasant mind game you can do as you lie in bed is to bring to mind a pleasant memory from the past - something very lovely - a wonderful time in your life - a happy relationship - something that brings a smile just remembering it. And as you bring forth the picture of this time, try to fill in the details - the setting, the room - include the furniture and wallpaper, if possible - the cast of characters - what they wore, what was eaten, what was said - just like a mini-screenplay - your own screenplay of a happy time for you. This is a very pleasant way to end the day and lull yourself to sleep.
C. YOUR PERFECT SPIRITUAL HOME
I just learned of this and I like it a lot. You get yourself relaxed - (as in Relaxation Breathing - the three long breaths in and out - as above - remember?) - then you conjure up this space that seems absolutely perfect to you - a space created by you in your mind - perhaps a beautiful grove in the woods, or a flower garden, or a cozy room - or someplace literally "out of this world" - in the clouds, say - or wherever it feels "perfect" for your soul to reside. And you bring forth this vision and simply "reside" there for a while - 'til you fall asleep. [ I love it! ]
D. BEDTIME POETRY
Some people make it a habit to recite poetry from memory as they lie in bed at night. If you can remember some especially lovely poems from the past, these can be a natural, lulling comfort to you because of their rhythmic quality, their pleasant imagery - and also because of the pleasurable memories they perhaps bring back - A great little ritual to employ on a regular basis.
You could also read a poem or two just before turning out the light.
You could try this one, by Henry Vaughn...
THE MOTION OF THE SPHERES
I saw eternity the other night
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
and, round beneath it, time, in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world
And all her train were hurled.
You can always set up your own prayer ritual. Click here to see our segment on Prayer.
Or, go to our selection of POETRY & BEDTIME STORIES. Check out the navigation bars to the left for the different forms of help we offer.
Good night and sweet dreams.
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