Imagine that you are walking down a dark street at night. Suddenly there is the sound of running footsteps in back of you. You are not sure of what is about t happen. Your pulse speeds up, your breathing quickens and deepens, your blood pressure increases to have more blood flow to the muscles. For the moment your are in what is known as the fight or flight mechanism of the nervous system.
Now imagine a voice calls out to you from the direction of the running feet and says, “Slow down, I just want to return your wallet. You left it on the store counter when you were here.”
Your pulse and breathing begins to slow down. Your blood pressure decreases and there is probably a smile on your face. The only thing that has really happened is a change in your perception of the situation. It is of course agreed that the change in perception was justified. But this little story does illustrate the importance of perception in maintaining normal blood pressure.
There are many causes for high blood pressure. Some are purely physical and others are based upon wrongful perceptions a person has of the world and people around them. These misconceptions are often based upon fear and anger. It is of course possible for the problem to be a combination of he physical and the psychological.
A very rewarding way to lower blood pressure through psychological means is to use the concept of being non-judgmental. What is meant by this is that you do not have to agree with what is said, but you accept it as the other persons point of view. Since it is their point view there is no need for any anger. Being non-judgmental has the additional benefit of allowing you to remain stoic , when given bad restaurant service as an example, thereby avoiding a rise in blood pressure.
Psychologists tell us that the mind and body work together. So if the mind is tense and worried, the body is tense as well. These of course are major contributing factors in making sleep difficult. Since they work together,r by calming the body down we also calm the mind, which helps induce sleep.
By taking just a few minutes to perform the mental exercise in the next paragraphs, you will be rewarded with a new found ability to sleep, almost at will. The exercise should be done when you are in bed ready to sleep. You need not memorize it, but try to use it as a model for the instructions you give yourself.
Close your eyes and imagine the eyelids are very heavy and don’t want to open. Think about how comfortable they feel closed. The heaviness from your eyelids is spreading to the rest of your face. Your mouth is relaxed and slightly open. Your jaw feels relaxed and your scalp is also comfortable and relaxed.
And now let your neck and shoulder feel heavy and relaxed. Let the relaxation and heaviness spread into your upper arms and down into your forearms. From your forearms into your hands and fingers. Let your chest and back feel heavy and relaxed. With each breath that you exhale let your upper body from the top of your head to your waist relax.
The relaxation from your upper body is drifting down into your hips and thighs. Think of it now drifting down into your calves and ankles and into your feet.
The essence of what you have just read is to give you and idea of how to talk your body into a state of relaxation that will promote sleep. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to start with the eyelids and work your way through the face, neck, shoulders, arms, chest and back and then to the hips, thighs, calves and feet. Another words, just follow the anatomy.