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Nighttime SOSRacing Mind SOS

Racing Mind SOS

A simple meditation created to soothe a racing mind and help you prepare for sleep.

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So it often seems to happen that at nighttime, our mind appears especially busy. Maybe it hits us as soon as we lie down on the bed, maybe it even wakes us up in the middle of the night. But when the mind is very busy, it's very difficult to focus on anything else, and it's certainly very difficult to let go enough to fall asleep or to fall back to sleep. And a busy mind needs working with in a very particular way. If it's busy, we kinda need to give it something to do, but we don't wanna give it so much to do that it continues to feel busy. So there's a really simple technique, takes a bit of patience, but it's really effective in quietening the mind, in relaxing the body, and in creating the conditions to either fall asleep or fall back to sleep. To begin with, though, just make sure that you're comfortable, that you're set up for going to sleep for the night or falling back to sleep. Ideally lying on your back, at least for the beginning of this exercise, you can always move afterwards. And as you lie there, getting comfortable, just taking a couple of big, deep breaths, breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth. As you breathe out each time, feeling or at least imagining the body letting go of any tension, feeling the weight of the body sink down into the mattress, the surface beneath you. And if you haven't done already, with the next out breath just gently closing the eyes. Now, if the mind is busy, the body will often feel restless as well. So just for the next minute, try to gently place your hand on your stomach, you don't have to breathe in any special way, but just for 60 seconds, we're just gonna stay with the feeling of the breath. And the mind's gonna wanna draw you back into conversation, the mind will wanna chase after particular thoughts. It's invested in remaining busy. So we're just gonna allow the mind to stay busy. That's what it wants to do, allow it to think. And one of the things, which is gently resting our attention on the breath and that rising and falling sensation created by the breath, just for a few more seconds just staying with that feeling. And then we're just going to count the breaths, just one time from 10 down to one as you feel the rising sensation, you count 10, falling sensation, nine and eight and seven all the way down to zero. If the breaths are quite fast, you get there quickly, you can just repeat that again. Starting at 10, just following the breath counting down to zero. Just try that a couple of times through on your own. Now you can either continue with that each time just starting at 10, slowly counting backwards with each breath and to zero as you follow the...


TypeNighttime SOS
Duration10-12 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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