13 Bedtime Rituals That Encourage Mindfulness

When you were little, you probably had bedtime rituals that helped you go to sleep.

Maybe your parents told you to put on your pajamas and brush your teeth. Maybe they read you one last story and checked under your bed for monsters.

As an adult, you’re more likely to be thinking about your job and monthly bills rather than monsters, but you can invent your own late-night practices to ensure you get the rest you need.

Consider these ideas for 13 bedtime rituals that encourage mindfulness and peaceful dreams.

Bedtime Rituals for Your Body:

1. Slow down.

Are you still thinking about work and rushing through housework up until you go to bed? Give yourself some downtime in the evening and move at a more leisurely pace.

2. Dim the lights.

When your eyes are looking at bright screens on your phone and TV, your brain is getting stimulated too. Shut down electronic devices at least two hours before bed. Darken your bedroom as well.

3. Read a book.

Now that you’re offline, try catching up on your reading. Visit your local library to browse the fiction or history shelves.

If you prefer an electronic reader, turn the brightness down and use an app or filter to block blue light.

4. Breathe deeply.

Your breathing can help you manage your emotions. Do exercises that help you focus on inhaling from your abdomen instead of your chest.

Diaphragmatic breathing triggers a relaxation response throughout your body. Lengthening your exhalations also reduces stress.

5. Eat something light.

If you’re distracted by hunger pangs, have a small snack. Pick something that combines a little protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat.

6. Squeeze your muscles.

Progressive muscle relaxation is a proven method for settling down to sleep. Work your way down from head to foot as you tense and relax your muscles in one area at a time.

Bedtime Rituals for Your Mind:

1. Write it down.

Perform a nightly mental dump. Make a list of nagging thoughts, urgent errands, and personal goals.

Once you put it on paper, you can forget about it for the night knowing that you have a reminder waiting for you.

2. Count backwards.

Counting sheep sometimes works because it’s boring. However, if you find yourself lingering over cute images of sheep, switch to plain numbers and work back from 100.

3. Play a game.

If you want something restful but a little more fun, use a simple mental word game. Choose a five-letter word and name an item that starts with each letter.

4. Listen to music.

Music can have a powerful effect on your mood. Play a classic lullaby or soft jazz tunes.

5. Hide your clock.

Staring at your clock can make you anxious about how many hours you have left before you need to leave for work.

Turn the display towards the wall or put your clock on a shelf above your head.

6. Take a break.

If you’re tossing and turning for more than half an hour, you might benefit from getting up and going to another room until you’re drowsier.

Keep the TV off and do something tedious like organizing your sock drawer.

7. Meditate and visualize.

On the other hand, it works to your advantage if you can stay in bed without feeling anxious about being awake.

Use the time to meditate, pray, or enjoy pleasant imagery. You may fall asleep or at least still your mind.

Having a consistent bedtime routine can help you overcome intrusive thoughts and relax your body and mind.

Adopt habits that make it easier for you to regain mindfulness after a busy day and enjoy a full night of high-quality sleep.

What is the Limiting Factor in Your Life?

No matter how far you’ve come in life, you’re still held back by a limiting factor. Even if you’re a billionaire, there is something that’s preventing you from having more.

Some of us are currently more limited than others, but we all have limitations. And those limitations change. When one limitation is overcome, another is ready to take its place.

Imagine a car that will only go 100 mph. The limitation is most likely the engine, but suppose you replace that engine with one capable of moving the car at 200 mph? Will the car go that fast?

Probably not. The transmission might not be capable of 200 mph. If you replace the transmission, you’ll find out that the tires are now a limitation.

Eventually, the engine becomes the limitation again that prevents the car from going faster.

What’s the limiting factor in your life? Could it be one of these:

1. Purpose.

If you don’t know what’s important to you or what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re severely limited. You don’t know where or how to direct your attention and energy.

2. Self-awareness.

It’s easy to see the flaws in others, but almost impossible to see them in ourselves. Keep a journal and examine why you do the things you do. Ask a friend or family member for insight.

3. Knowledge.

Maybe you don’t know enough. For example, if you want to be a real estate investor, but you don’t know much about real estate, you’ll need to increase your knowledge before you can be successful in that endeavor.

● What parts of your life would be enhanced if you knew more?

4. Courage.

Most of us know what we need to do to resolve many of our challenges, but we just can’t get ourselves to consistently take action. Fear is often the culprit.

5. Money.

If you dream of owning a home, driving a new car, or taking a fancy trip, money might be the limiting factor.

A lack of money can also limit your ability to sleep comfortably at night. Money isn’t everything, but a lack of financial resources is very limiting.

6. Time.

Anyone that works multiple jobs, or works full-time while attending school, can attest to the fact that time can be a limiting factor.

● If you don’t have enough time to do everything you want or need to do, examine how you allocate your time and look for possible enhancements.

7. Relationships.

A negative relationship can limit your life. A bad employee can limit your life. A lack of friends can limit your life.

Many people, especially those that are highly driven, can underestimate the value of relationships. The people in your life can do a lot to help or to hinder you.

8. Health.

Poor health can be limiting both physically and mentally. If you don’t feel good or your energy is low, it can be a limiting factor in your life.

● Make your health a priority. It’s a choice that needs to be made each day. Look at your diet and exercise habits. Visit your doctor regularly.

What is currently limiting your progress? Determine your limiting factor and begin working on it. Remember that once you solve that challenge, another limiting factor will take its place.

Keep working on overcoming your limitations. It’s a lifelong process that keeps life interesting.

Related reading: How to do Mindfulness online guide.

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