Most people set intentions in the morning before starting their day.
Parents know how important evening rituals and routines are for children but what about for us as adults?
Do you have or have you thought about an evening ritual?
A habit is something you form unconsciously and often don't think about.
A ritual, on the other hand, takes your full attention. The most important part of creating your ritual is the purpose behind it.
Why are you doing it?
Perhaps you want to conquer insomnia, wake refreshed, stop having nightmares or simply wake feeling relaxed, refreshed and at ease instead of dreading the coming day.
Whatever the reason may be, it must really resonate with you.
It has to be something you believe in, feel strongly about and are committed to following.
I have several rituals in place in my life. One of them is an evening ritual that has helped me to take control of my dream state and sustains a mindset that empowers me to move forward in my life, bringing a greater sense of peace and resilience. I wake up relaxed rather than filled with anxiety.
Have you thought about setting a bed time intention?
Setting a bedtime intention allows you to use your dream state for alignment and creation.
There is no magic formula because we are all unique with ever-changing needs, wants, and desires. There is however a ton of evidence showing how Yoga Nidra can help with anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD and sleep. I have recorded several Yoga Nidra meditations that I listen to every night as I fall asleep.
After consistent and repeated practice, I am no longer plagued by nightmares and I find those moments where I am half asleep in the morning, full of creativity, insight, a sense of assurance and great inner strength.
Have a think about what your nighttime ritual might look like.
I start mine before I even enter my bedroom with a cup of herbal tea and a lighted candle to signal that it's time to unwind, let go of the day and prepare for sleep.
The steps I take while seemingly small and insignificant are important. They signal to my whole nervous system a set of physiological signals that lead to the success of my intention.
The ritual’s physical and psychological features lead to bottom-up and top-down processing, respectively, and the combined processing regulates my whole system which results in better outcomes.
There is empirical and anecdotal research theorising the individual psychology of ritual. At the end of the day your ritual has to suit you, be nourishing, kind and have a process that will help you to reach your end goal.
Start with something simple but definitive, then think of your intention.
I started out by practicing a full-body tense and release meditation once I climbed into bed but these days, I just gently ‘sense’ my way through using a body scan.
You might like to imagine a light filled with peace coming up into your feet, traveling through your body, slowly filling it, and settling in your head.
Imagine the light warming and soothing any aches and pains you might have as it moves through your body.
Imagine that warm peaceful light filling your mind, creating a fullness where worry and stress just can't stay. Thoughts of work and worry just drift away.
Imagine the light forming connections to all who love you.
Imagine that light connecting you to all that is light and love and peace throughout your neighborhood, your community, your country, and then the world.
As you are visualising this imagine the light gathering the wisdom from the universe and connecting it to you. Then state out loud or whisper to yourself again your intention, “It is my intention to have a peaceful sleep and wake refreshed" or “It is my intention to be able to remain calm and focused tomorrow…” or whatever your intention is.
If you like follow this up with something like “I intend to remember any information I receive tonight in a way that is clear, easily remembered, and understood.”
Finish with your initial intention, “It is my intention to be nourished and restored with this sleep.” Take a few deep breaths, hold, and exhale slowly.
Practice your bedtime ritual over the course of a week to fourteen days.
Notice how it supports you feeling rested, relaxed and more resilient.
See if you can keep it going for a whole month.
If you would like some help with setting up a ritual and/or Yoga Nidra sessions and recordings to help you sleep please get in contact with me. I can guide you in the comfort of your own home through a private zoom link to help you in the early stages.
Come back and share your experience on the Facebook page @relaxwithrossy
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