Thursday, July 09, 2009
The other day I was talking to a friend of the family about her frequent bouts of insomnia. For the past two years she has had to take sleeping pills on average 4-5 times per week. I was quite surprised to learn she couldn't sleep without her sleeping pills and I offered her a natural remedy: meditation.
I too used to suffer from insomnia due to an overactive mind and excess energy. When I started meditating on a daily basis two years ago, my insomnia pretty much disappeared. Now I only suffer from sleepless nights if I drink caffeine and don't expend the excess energy by working out.
When we learn to control our mind, we can easily shut it off when it's time for bed. Most of us suffer from "worry" syndrome, which tends to strike at night when our minds hit the pillows. Why is this? During the day we are overwhelmed with one distraction after another. We are checking email, looking at our blackberry, answering our cell phone, and trying to squeeze in work while we are multi-tasking beyond our human capabilities. Due to all these distractions, our mind and body are never allowed to rest. Then all of a sudden it's time for bed and all the distractions are gone.
In the quiet of night our mind starts going a million miles per hour. We think about the meeting that didn't go well. We admonish ourselves for making a foolish comment. We worry about the looming deadline. We worry about bills piling up. One worry after another fills our mind with each passing minute. The clock is ticking which then makes us start worrying about how many hours we have until it's time to get up.
Meditation allows you to "let go" of all the worrisome thoughts with a flip of the switch. When we have an empty mind, we can sleep peacefully. Our body is relaxed and free of anxiety.
How do you start meditating? I personally recommend meditation CDs as a first step. Otherwise try to quiet the mind for 5 minutes and then start adding another 5 minutes when you are ready. There are also meditation classes that may help for those seeking more formal training.
A friend of mind made the comment, "I don't think meditation is for everyone." This may be true but I know for myself, meditation has been life changing. I feel empowered that I now have control over my mind instead of my mind controlling me.
Colleen Canney is a Career, Life, and Wellness Coach based in Milwaukee, WI. For more information on Colleen, please visit her website at: www.colleencanney.com or contact her at email@example.com.