Thursday, January 12, 2017

Visualization: Because Counting Sheep is so 2016

So how did everyone sleep last night?  If you're like most people your answer will vary considerably depending on what time you went to bed, your current level of stress, whether or not you are sick, how anxious you were about the next day's to-do list, and a ton of other factors.  Maybe you fall asleep easily but find it hard to stay asleep.  Or maybe you lay in bed, staring at the clock growing progressively more anxious with every minute that passes and you remain awake.  Whatever your sleep issues may be, nobody likes insomnia.  When we decide it's bedtime, we want to just fall asleep already.  But the sleep struggle can be so, so real.

There are so many things you can try to help you fall asleep, and if you struggle with insomnia, you likely have tried a lot already.  But have you tried mindfulness meditation?  Specifically, have you tried visualization meditations?  If not, you need to because they. are. AMAZING.

I recently had the opportunity to try Welzen, a guided mindfulness meditation app and quickly discovered my new favorite way to fall asleep.  Mind you, the goal of mindfulness meditation is not to put you to sleep; rather, it is to train you to keep your mind where your body is, and stay in the present moment.  It's easy to let our minds wander, especially at night when we want to be asleep but it's not happening.  That's usually when the catastrophizing begins: "I'll never be able to get through the day tomorrow if I don't fall asleep soon" or "I'm exhausted...there's no way I'll be able to function like this."  Sound familiar?

That's why a guided visualization can be SO helpful.  It stops your anxious thoughts and gives you something else to focus on.  In the case of Welzen, you get to focus on the most soothing voice imaginable, directing your focus to something relaxing, like imagining you are floating down a river and truly sensing what that would be like.  And then before you know it, zzzzzzz. For real.

For the skeptics out there, please understand I was one of you.  Never did I think I would become a person who meditated.  The very word conjured images of chanting monks in orange robes or a perfectly silent room full of people where someone (possibly a monk) would hit a gong once in a while.  While meditation and visualization might take some getting used to, I can assure you chants and orange robes are not required.  Unless you like them.  Then there's no reason you couldn't have them, I suppose.

Welzen offers a variety of guided meditations to help with everything from anxiety to relationship issues.  There's even guided meditations for kids, which I plan to try the next time my boys get a little cuckoo before bedtime (as they have occasionally been known to do, despite my best effotrts).  If you are looking for a quick, soothing, and relaxing way to fall asleep and stay asleep, I highly suggest checking out Welzen.  You can start with the free trial to get a feel for it, and once you find your sheep counting days are over, you can upgrade to a monthly, yearly, or lifetime subscription.  Seriously the lifetime one is under $100.  #worthit.

Let me know if any of you decide to give guided visualization mediations a try.  Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

*Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Welzen: Guided Mindfulness Meditation App.  All opinions expressed are my own and I never recommend products I don't love.  Besties gotta keep it real.




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