Have you ever had nights when you could not fall asleep because your thoughts would not stop swirling around, about your day, your week, your life, and things that were bothering you? No matter what you did to try to calm things down, your mind would start up again and lead you in circles, rehashing the really challenging day you’d just had and what you could have done differently, and so on. It seems that a lot of us have been having those kinds of nights these days, and more frequently than before. As the pace of the world has speeded up, we may find ourselves working hard just to stay in place, as it were. Time honored methods of relaxing; warm milk, gentle stretches, and keeping any external sensory input to a minimum before bed, to name a few, may work to a point, but the mind tends to want to be busy, and can easily start right up again, bombarding us with thoughts. We may often find ourselves back where we started with our thoughts whirling and again unable to sleep.
A number of people have found that when it comes to calming down that internal mental chatter, the only thing that consistently works is a basic meditation technique. Sit quietly in an area with limited or no external distractions and just listen to your breath going in and out. You don’t need to focus on your breathing, just notice it is happening. After a while, you may find that your thoughts and your breathing have slowed down as you’ve been sitting there. Scientists have completed studies of people who meditated on a regular basis and those who did not, and discovered that the brains of the regular meditators were emitting Alpha brain waves, which are the slowest, during meditation, and that even during non-meditating times during the day, the meditators remained much calmer than those who did not meditate or who only meditated sporadically.
If you practice this silent meditation technique on a regular basis, you may find that it is making a big difference in the way you live through your days and also your external perceptions. You may also notice that when you don’t meditate as a regular part of your day, you feel as if you’re missing something. Silent meditation may not be the solution for everyone, but if you have tried everything else and nothing has worked for you, it just might be worth a try.