Mary is well-acquainted with the calming effect that aural relaxation strategies can have on an overactive mind and provides the following unexpected tips for those at the wheel of an overactive mind.
Here are some of her top tips!
- Deal with the monkey mind (know what’s in or out of your control) – Stress mucks up sleep. Before you go to bed, write down your worries and separate them into two spheres: things that are in your control and things that aren’t. Put your mind at ease by creating actions for the things you can control, and don’t give things out of your control a second thought.
- Try 4-7-8 breathing – This yogic breathing technique is a great way to focus the mind and switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, our relaxation response. Breathe in for four, hold for seven and breathe out for eight. Repeat this technique for a few minutes and notice relaxation ripple through your body.
- Listen to audiobooks for a relaxing bedtime story – Remember how nice it was for someone to read you a bedtime story, or when teachers used to read to you at school? It’s never too late for a bedtime story. Hop into bed, pop on some headphones or power up your smart home speaker, set the Audible Sleep Timer, find a story with a soothing voice and let go.
- Protect yourself from second-hand stress during the day – Having a good night sleep starts with what you do (or don’t do) during the day to manage your stress. Research has shown that we pick up uncertainty and stress just by observing people that are stressed. If you work next to a stress head, it may be time to shift desks, or to move somewhere where they aren’t in your line of view.
- Get out of bed – If you find yourself tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and head into another room. Staying in bed for too long when you can’t sleep trains the brain that the bed is associated with ‘not sleeping’. Activities to do while out of bed? Something calming like reading, meditating, or listening to an audiobook is best.
Another fantastic option? Listening to some of the most popular Audiobooks that audible has to offer!
THE HARRY POTTER SERIES BY J.K. ROWLING, NARRATED BY STEPHEN FRY!
ATONEMENT BY IAN MCEWAN, NARRATED BY CAROLE BOYD
THE BLUEST EYE, WRITTEN AND NARRATED BY TONI MORRISON
I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, WRITTEN AND NARRATED BY MAYA ANGELOU
THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES BY PETER WOHLLEBEN, NARRATED BY MIKE GRADY