In Part One and Part Two of this review, I discovered quite an effective tool for dealing with anxiety, impatience, and insomnia. Guided meditation! It has taken me 30 years of being in relationship with God to stumble upon such an important technique. As I mentioned in Part Two, my verdict is that Christian meditation works better for me than Mindfulness, but a meditation that combines the two would be an even better tool to soothe the body and mind, as well as the spirit.
Help with Insomnia
When I’m plagued by stress, and impatiently waiting for a solution to my problems, this often results in a fitful night of sleep, or more. When I listened to Abide’s “Sleep & Insomnia” meditation, I was happy to hear that it combines breathing with Scripture. I felt a rising sense of relaxation listening to these comforting words:
“breath slowly and deeply as you imagine yourself in the boat...Jesus your savior curls up in the boat to sleep...you lean on Him as your savior rests...the wind begins to hit your face...you see the look of peace in his eyes...Jesus whispers to you...my child have faith in me...you feel yourself falling asleep in His arms as His peace surrounds you.”
These words perfectly paint the picture of peace being still. The Mindfulness meditation by Headspace “Get a Good Night’s Sleep” paints a physical picture. Again, the body is the focal point as it coaxes listeners into:
“letting go of any thoughts and just feeling that contact between the body and the surface beneath you; the heels, the backs of the legs, the lower back...the back of the head and just allowing the mind to drift off in it’s own time.”
Both of these meditations do a great job helping you to focus on your physicality. We carry around stress, impatience, and sleeplessness in every muscle. Mindfulness meditations aim to get those negatives under control by directing us to breathe them out, and by reminding us that the present moment is all that we can control. But, I needed more than just relaxing the different parts of my body to help me fall asleep. Picturing Jesus fearlessly calming the storm helped to settle my mind and ease into a sleepy state. Because I have faith in Him, the waves of worry crashing against my mind could subside and make way for calm.
Christian meditation or Mindfulness?
After listening to both Christian and Mindfulness meditations on the topics of stress, patience, and insomnia, one notion has become clear. If we are spirits that live inside of physical bodies, then maybe we need to attack these problems from more than one angle. Perhaps it would be more effective to focus on relaxing our bodies, while also pouring into our spirits, to help us address these issues of the mind. The ideal meditation would guide us through the miracle of life and breath, relax our muscles from head to toe, and speak wisdom from Scripture into our hearts. Without words of faith, Mindfulness meditations feel like a surface solution to a deeply rooted problem. To me, it feels like a snack when I need a full meal.
What I like most about Mindfulness, though, is the focus on the present. Along with leading me to relax my breathing and my body, my ideal combo meditation might begin with, “Know that God has placed you in this exact position so that you can receive what He has for you in this moment. The thing that you are asking Him to do for you is either in the past or in the future. What He is doing for you now is right here before you. It’s in the air that you breathe. It’s in the miracle that causes your heart to beat every second. It’s in the fact that you have ears that can hear my voice speaking to you right now. Embrace that. Love that. Thank God for that. Because right now, this moment, is what you have, and it’s all that matters...”
So, what’s your verdict? If you’d like to conduct your own little experiment, I encourage you to listen to the meditations in the video links below. Then, share your thoughts in the comments below. We can’t wait to read them.
Leslie McGuffie writes about being in love with the Lord, and she loves sharing the wisdom He gives her about daily living. In her spare time she’s a wife, mother of six, and grandmother of three. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @listen2leslie. Subscribe to her blog at listen2leslie.com.