This week’s blog is a little different the absolute marvel that is The Well-being Alchemist Alchemy kindly gave me some of her time to talk about Meditation and the enormous benefits that this can have.
For me it is so important to put you all at the forefront. Sometimes embarking on a sleep journey can feel too big, I understand that. I thought this was a super important subject that can really support you when things get too much. Even with sleep this can happen from time to time.
Meditation is something that is really close to my heart and something that I began to practice when my marriage ended and has really has life changing results. It is the driving force behind launching The Sleep Fixer, without it I would never have had the courage.
So, onto the interview with The Well-being Alchemist, I posed a handful of questions to The Well-being Alchemist that I believe could be of real benefit to all your wonderful people.
Why does meditation help us?
The Well-being Alchemist explained that from a physiological viewpoint scans have proven that meditation helps our brains to ‘switch off’.
Many of us as parents are on high alert a lot of the time and our brains therefore very active. Meditation can literally calm the brain down leading to us feeling calmer and more relaxed.
Does meditation help sleep?
We as parents will often go to bed thinking about the hundreds of things that we need to remember or do the next day; as can our children.
Meditation can help us to get back to our base which in turn will help to calm down that racing mind.
How much should we be meditating and for how long?
Speaking to The Well-being Alchemist made me realise just how important it is to meditate. Daily meditations can help us to feel less stress. This should always be a prevention rather that a cure.
Around 20mins per day is optimum and can be done in 2 blocks of 10mins. Including our children can also help them to feel calmer. The Well-being Alchemist spoke of snuggling up with your children providing them with oxytocin also to help them feel calmer.
You should stick with the same meditation practice for around 2 weeks to feel the full benefit. This was a great insight for me as I mix it around all the time but have taken The Well-being Alchemist’s advice and she is right!
Choosing the right meditation
The Well-being Alchemist describes that metta meditation can be a great place to start, this is all about love and kindness and hey who doesn’t want that. Especially being kind to ourselves this can be extremely difficult at times of increased stress i.e., sleep deprivation. It can be like giving ourselves and internal hug.
Breath work can also be useful so taking equal in and out breaths for 6 seconds a piece also known as balanced breathing.
At times of higher or increased stress having a longer out breath can be more effective.
Doing this for a minimum of 5 mins can stabilise your heart rate and increase your resilience. What an effective tool, I honestly think, even myself as a parent I do not do this enough! Working on it!
How to start meditation
The Well-being Alchemist spoke of the apps that are about and accessible, these can be a great tool initially.
‘Meditation is about being comfortable and doing what works for you. Try different things and see how they make you feel’
The Well-being Alchemist spoke of her own routine with meditation and how each morning she will set her alarm for 6am and meditate before even getting out of bed.
Respect that some days are harder than others and that is ok come back to it later or at a different time that works better for you.
NSDR- What is it?
So NSDR is known as Non-Sleep Deep Rest. This is a practice that I will often recommend to parents. It has significant positive results and can really help when you have had a difficult night or several difficult nights.
The Well-being Alchemist explained that the brainwave theta is the gateway into sleep. Therefore, meditation can have a significant impact on how you are able to function. This makes perfect sense. So, this can ultimately help you to feel better when you are sleep deprived.
I loved especially how The Well-being Alchemist spoke of sleep during our interview. The Well-being Alchemist has had periods of sleep deprivation throughout her life that she has found difficult. Now The Well-being Alchemist prioritises her sleep above all!
Meditation is nothing but great. It helps us to be better at life, to be calmer and more creative.
It can seem a bit daunting initially as I think many of us have the view that meditation must be done in a certain way, at a certain time and with specific objects. When in actual fact it can be done anywhere and at any time.
I hope you have found this helpful
To find out more from The Well-being Alchemist herself here are her links