What are affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements used to help overcome negative and destructive thought patterns. They can be simple and general, or more specific and tailored to an individual's needs. They combat unhelpful self-talk with the goal of building self esteem and increasing motivation.
Does using affirmations actually work?
Although you may be skeptical of the efficacy of positive affirmations, there is a surprising amount of evidence leading scientists to believe in their power. If something feels silly, but it works, is it still silly?
Part of the reason why positive affirmations are effective is due to something called neuroplasticity. Simply put, this is the brain's ability to change and adapt neural pathways in response to learned behaviours. Think of it like exercising the parts of your brain that help you to develop confidence, gratitude and a positive attitude.
Another reason why affirmations are effective is because when you state your goals and intentions, you are more likely to search for the proof that those goals are being reached. You pay more attention to the small changes and that helps us to build resiliency. This keeps us on track when reaching our personal goals as it keeps it in our mind and lets us recognize our progress.
Positive affirmations help reduce our stress by helping to change the way we talk to ourselves. When we challenge our negative self talk, we are telling ourselves that we do not deserve to be spoken to in this way. With time, we find ourselves less likely to engage in negative self talk in the first place. Can you imagine what you could do with the energy you saved if you didn't spend that time worrying, doubting yourself or ruminating on pessimistic thoughts?
How do I get started?
When getting started with positive self affirmations, there isn't just one correct way. You can try one thing and if it doesn't work for you, there are lots of other ways to incorporate them into your daily routine.
For instance you can:
What are some examples?
If you're having trouble knowing where to start or which affirmations will work best for you, here are a few examples. Now remember, you can tailor them towards your own specific needs or situation.
Moore, C. (2019, March 4). Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It? PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/
The Science Behind Positive Affirmations. (2021, February 4). Third Space. https://www.thirdspace.london/this-space/2021/02/the-science-behind-positive-affirmations/#:~:text=It%20fires%20up%20your%20neural
Do Affirmations Work? Yes, but There’s a Catch. (2020, September 1). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/do-affirmations-work#how-they-work
Sleep stages are an important part of our overall sleep health. In order to feel well rested we need to make sure we are getting enough of both REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and Deep Sleep.
When we do not get enough of these stages of our sleep cycles, it can lead to brain fog. It can also exacerbate physical and mental health difficulties since we are not giving our brain and body the time to repair and renew itself.
Deep sleep is important because it allows your body to heal and grow as it works to repair your physical body. It is important for keeping your immune system functioning correctly and regulation of hormones. It helps to replenish your body and your energy for the next day. It is also important for learning and memory, as well as overall cognitive function.
REM sleep is critically important for your mental health. This is the stage of sleep where people dream and experience emotional processing. It is a critical part of healthy brain development as this is the stage where we work on consolidating our memories from the day.
This sleep stage helps us to get our bodies ready to wake up for the day and is the lightest sleep stage. When you do not get enough REM sleep, you may find it particularly difficult to wake up and may feel groggy and less rested despite the amount of sleep you may have gotten.
What happens if you do not get enough of these sleep stages?
When you don't get an adequate amount of quality sleep you may experience concentration issues, you may find yourself more forgetful than normal and over time you may contribute to chronic health conditions.
If you find yourself in a sleep debt, where you are deprived of these restorative stages over an extended period of time it can be difficult to "catch up", but there are things you can do to help improve the quality of your sleep.
How can I help improve the quality of my sleep?
If you find that these changes are not helping to improve the quality of your sleep or if your symptoms are causing you to have difficulty functioning on a daily basis, please speak to your doctor for additional assistance. We are not medical health professionals and something more may be hindering your sleep abilities. It's important to speak with a professional if you believe that your health is being affected.
Stages of Sleep: What Happens in a Sleep Cycle. (2021, December 2). Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/stages-of-sleep#:~:text=Sleep%20stages%20are%20important%20because
Deep Sleep: What it is and How Much You Need. (2021, December 2). Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/stages-of-sleep/deep-sleep
REM Sleep: Why is it important? (n.d.). American Sleep Association. https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/stages-of-sleep/rem-sleep/
Summer, J. (2021, December 16). REM Sleep: What It Is and Why It Matters. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/stages-of-sleep/rem-sleep
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2019). Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. Nih.gov. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
Written By Jamie Benjamin
Healthy sleeping habits will make a world of difference to just about everything in your life. Proper rest will allow you to deal with stress and challenges far more effectively, and will give you the energy you need to achieve your goals. However, it isn’t just about the amount of sleep you get. You also need good-quality sleep every night. In this article, we’ll explore how to set yourself up to get the right sleep for your body.
Set Your Internal Clock Through Consistency
All of our bodies have an internal clock, which is why we find it so disorienting when we travel to a different time zone. If you can go to bed and get out of bed at the same time every day, you’ll be setting your body clock.
Your brain will know when it’s time to shut down and get ready to sleep. It will also know when it’s expected to wake up and get ready for the day ahead.
The key to this is consistency. You need to stick to these hours—or as close to them as possible—even over the weekend. If you’ve had a poor night’s sleep, you should still get up at the same time in the morning to reinforce the message for your internal clock.
Reduce Your Intake Of Sleep-Interfering Stimulants
Food and drink we enjoy in our everyday life, like coffee, tea, and chocolate, can easily keep us awake. They contain stimulants like caffeine and sugar that aren’t necessarily bad for you, but they do stimulate your brain. If you ingest them too close to your bedtime--within four to six hours—they may prevent you from falling asleep.
You should also consider making your evening meal lighter and earlier. If you’re still digesting food when you go to bed, it can be difficult to fall asleep. The heavier the meal, the longer it will take to digest, and the more likely it is to cause indigestion too.
Establish a Pre-Sleep Routine
Our bodies and minds love a routine. Human beings are, after all, creatures of habit. To prepare yourself for sleep, you can set a routine that relaxes you and tells your mind that it’s time to slow down and switch off for the day.
This can include taking a bath, reading a book, and drinking hot chamomile tea or warm milk. You should absolutely avoid doing anything like work or exercise that gets your heart rate up. Even having a heated conversation, whether good or bad, can interrupt your body’s preparation for sleep.
Update Your Bedroom
Where you sleep is just as important as how you prepare for sleep. If your bedroom is too busy, crowded, loud, or stimulating, you may have difficulty getting your mind to switch off and your body to relax.
Take a look around your bedroom and see if there’s anything that could interfere with your sleep. Noises that are either constant or loud, light from inside or out, high or low temperature, and even your mattress and bedding are all factors. Once you’ve identified the issues, go about fixing them.
For external noise, listening to a guided sleep meditation, a white noise machine or using ear plugs can help reduce or eliminate it. For light, consider blackout curtains, (the heavy fabric will also help with noise reduction) or wear a sleep mask over your eyes.
It’s important to look at the tech and devices you have in your room. TVs, tablets, mobile phones, and even a smartwatch can keep you awake because of notifications, machine humming, or display lights. If you can remove them entirely, or remove them from sight when you’re in bed, you’ll likely have a better night’s sleep.
The temperature of your room can affect how well you sleep, as can your beddings. You may struggle to sleep if your room is too hot, and you won’t be able to relax fully if you’re constantly cold as well. Ensure you have proper ventilation or heating and that your duvet is thick or thin enough to regulate your temperature correctly.
Your mattress should also be firm and offer adequate support, and it’s important that you have the right type for your body. It may hurt your back if it’s too soft, and you may struggle to get comfortable if it’s too hard.
Understand The Impact Of Natural And Artificial Light
Light has a major impact on our bodies and brains—both natural light and artificial. Instinctually, we’re more awake during daylight and grow tired when the sun goes down. Artificial light can simulate this same instinctual reaction, affecting our ability to understand when to go to sleep naturally. Computer screens, smartphones, and televisions can all keep our brains awake simply because of the light they emit.
Part of your pre-sleep routine should be to switch off screens and start reducing the amount of light around you. It’s good to switch off the main lights in the room and have a softer light source from a bedside lamp just before you go to sleep.
If you’re tired during the day, you can give your body a jolt of daylight to help you stay awake. Take a quick break during your lunch hour or afternoon coffee time to go and stand outside. This exposure to sunlight will help stimulate your mind to keep on working.
Don’t Force Sleep
A huge hindrance to a good night’s rest is trying to force the issue. We can lie in bed for hours worrying about why we’re still awake, tossing and turning to get comfortable, to no avail. All this does is raise your anxiety levels, which will always prevent you from falling asleep.
If you haven’t fallen asleep within 20 minutes of switching off your light and settling down, don’t try and force yourself to do so. Instead, do something relaxing that can distract your mind from the fact that you aren’t sleeping. However, make sure that it’s not an activity that will wake you up by stimulating your body or mind. The key is to stay relaxed until you’re feeling tired enough to stop what you’re doing and drift off to sleep.
By maintaining healthy sleep habits, you’ll feel more refreshed upon waking and be more productive during the day. You’ll reduce your stress levels significantly as well. Cultivating a healthy sleep routine is an important part of your well-being, and it’s worth the effort.
Wow it's almost fall already and there's not end in sight to this Covid-19 Pandemic. It's no wonder people are stressed out and need help falling asleep. The moment people close their eyes their mind probably starts racing and gets filled with all the worries and anxiety that this situation has brought into our lives.
We've had a lot of positive feedback from listeners who say that our Guided Sleep Meditations help them forget about all this for awhile so they can get the sleep they need. That's one of the reasons we create our meditations, to make people's lives a little bit easier, no matter the circumstances and help them reduce stress and stay rested.
Recently we added a new subscription option for our Premium Content by making it available on the Super Cast platform. Super Cast is a premium podcast subscription site that allows us to offer our premium content based on monthly subscriptions. When you subscribe to our premium podcast on Super Cast you receive a Private RSS Feed containing our premium sleep meditation that you can add to your favourite podcast player. One nice thing about this service is that you can add the feed to the podcast player of your choice by simply clicking on the link in the email you receive when you join.
A wide variety of Podcast Players are supported by the Super Cast Platform (see the list below), and as new sleep meditations are released, the show up in the player automatically. Two subscription levels are available, Premium which offers about 128 sleep meditations and Premium Plus which offers over 160 sessions. Premium subscribers will receive 2 new meditations each month and Premium Plus will receive 4.
If you're interested in subscribing to Tracks To Relax Premium you can start a 3 day free trial on Super Cast by Clicking Here.
We should also mention that our subscribers on Patreon have a similar option and also receive a Priave RSS Feed, the main difference is that on Patreon, you'll need to copy the feed address and manually add it to your favourite podcast player. Patreon subscriptions start at just $2 with our Bronze level (1 new session a month) and a Silver ($5) and Gold ($10) level are also available. With patreon you also have the option of paying annually and saving 10% which is nice if you plan on listening for awhile and don't want to miss any new releases. If you're not already a patron, you can learn more by clicking here.
Sleep is a corner stone of good health!
The better you sleep the better you feel. The better you feel the more energy you have to achieve your goals, no matter how big or small they are. If you're not getting the quality sleep you deserve, then you owe it to yourself to give Tracks To Relax a try.
You can start listening for free HERE and if you like what you're hearing then we hope you'll join our online family by becoming a Patron and getting access to many more sleep meditation sessions.
To say we are in challenging times in an understatement. So many of us are stuck inside, watching the news way to much and wondering just how bad things will get. This of course increases our level of stress and worry which in turn causes our adrenal glands to produce adrenalin. When we stay stressed for a long period of time, our adrenal glands can become depleted and this then makes us feel even more worn out, tired and less resourceful.
In order to avoid this state of adrenal trickle (where you adrenal glands are constantly active) you need to take regular breaks from stress. One of the best ways to do this is to listen to a Tracks To Relax Nap or Bedtime meditation. These meditations can distract your mind and relax you deeply so you can enter into a parasympathetic state. This is the state of rest and repair where your body can replenish it's resources instead of depleting them.
Luckily as human beings we have imaginations and that allow us to pretend that we are somewhere else, doing something fun or relaxing. We can imagine a future when this event is a thing of the past and life gets back to "Normal". We can imagine ourselves having a massage at the beach, or walking along the Ocean shore collecting shells or doing just about anything else that's relaxing.
With a soothing voice and wonderful meditation experiences, we can help you relax deeply. Whether you join our online family by becoming a patron on Patreon, or just listen to our free podcast, our meditations can help you take that break you need. It's like a hug for your mind in a challenging time.
Join our online family at by becoming a patron HERE.
Or listen to our free meditation podcast HERE.
Well for now, this existence we call life, is a whole new ball game. Here in the great white north and pretty much anywhere north of Virginia, the weather is still cool and snowy or rainy, so it’s not all that enjoyable to get outside. That will change soon and this social distancing thing will become a little less isolating. Plus we’re all bound to get used to the idea after the first month or two of this Covid-19 right?
Virtual Walks and Runs
So lately I (Alan) have been running on the treadmill for exercise and playing music while doing so (thank you Spotify). Recently I started also watching Virtual Runs on YouTube while running. It’s surprising how easy it is to trick your brain into thinking your doing something you’re not actually doing. One of the runs is along a pathway that leads along the shorelines of a Hawaiian Island and it’s amazing how uplifting it is and how much it felt like I was outside running! If you can’t get outside right now and you want the illusion of being there, try a virtual walk on youtube and immerse yourself in the experience. Even if you’re just walking in place, or sitting down and watching it on your TV or at your computer, I think it might help you feel better!
Here are two virtual walks/runs we enjoy:
What’s a married or any couple to do when everything is closed and you’re stuck at home? Have a date night in! Make a special dinner together and then get dressed up in fancy clothes, play some lovely music and even have a dance! After dinner, retreat to your TV room for a movie and be sure to make some popcorn too! Nikki’s been making some home made fruit rollups with fresh strawberries and other fruit and since we don’t have any NIBS, these fruit rollups will be on the snack menu too. We love movies with tropical settings, like Captain Ron, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 50 First Dates and Into The Blue. Choose something fun that you know you’ll enjoy and forget about everything else except that special person for awhile. Our new WiFi connected lights in the bedroom will be in OCEAN Mode to finish off the evening. ;)
We love the Wii. We know there are more up to date video game systems out there, but the Wii lets us bowl at home. If you have friends that still have a Wii and you can video chat with them, it might be fun to have a virtual Wii bowling night. Play three games for top average and have fun almost like you would if you were together. and the bonus? You won’t need to worry about your friends drinking all your beer! :)
Another thing we are doing to keep busy is dehydrating stuff! When I say we, I mean Nikki because I’m just mainly eating the stuff that she has dehydrated! We recently bought a food dehydrator and have been shredding and dehydrating potatoes to make hash browns, making dried fruit, zucchini slices with taco seasoning and are about to make our own beef jerky. We may be stuck inside, but our goal is to never run out of healthy snacks! Plus it’s a great way to preserve your perishables.
We hope you are finding creative ways to keep busy and take your mind off all the negativity right now. We’re going to be releasing a couple of daytime sessions over the next few days so that when you want to take a break you can with a wonderful NAP Meditation.
You can now search our meditations on Patreon using your Browser (not the patreon app) at www.patreon.com/trackstorelax You’ll now see a new search box at the top right. If you want to get started wth some of the NAP Sessions we already have you can find them by entering the search word “nap”. We’re going to release a daytime version of “Riding out the storm” so you can use that session during the day or at night as well.
Don’t forget to end your day with a Tracks To Relax Sleep Meditation! Sleep is one of the cornerstones of health and wellness. Getting a good night’s sleep can help boost your immune system, improve your mood and give you the energy you need to stay positive!
We'll be here, continuing to create for you. Take care everyone and stay safe!
Sending you peace and love,
Alan & Nikki
Happy March everyone! Spring is just around the corner and we’re getting geared up
to release some new and exciting projects that we’ve been working on over the
winter months. There’s been a lot happening with us and we want to take this opportunity to bring you all up to date.
We have finally finished the recording studio! It was a learning process installing a drop ceiling and sound insulation for the first time. It took some time to complete but we’re really happy with the way it turned out. We’ve used wifi connected pot lights that can change colour with the Alexa app. So if we are recording a meditation about a beautiful summer meadow, we can make the room green. If we’re making a session about water, we can change the room to blue. It definitely helps us be in the right mood for the meditation we’re working on and we hope that comes through in all of the new meditations to come.
With spring around the corner, we’ll be able to get out and do nature recordings for some more “Speechless” sessions for Gold Patrons. Now that we live in the country we have several great spots to do some recording, including a couple of nearby waterfalls for some great white noise sessions.
Meditations in the works:
Pain Mitigation - Get temporary relief from pain and discomfort as you relax and fall
asleep. This session uses powerful self hypnosis techniques to help you feel
comfortable and disassociate from the discomfort.
Attract What You Want - It’s easier to use the law of attraction when you clearly
define and visualize what you want to attract! This sleep meditation will help you
relax and focus on what you want while you fall asleep.
Give Less F#!KS - Do you take on other people problems, issues or challenges? Do
you worry about things you can’t do anything about? Stop giving so many F#!ks and
get re-focused on your own stuff! You’ll enjoy feeling a lot less burdened and relaxed
after you listen to this powerful guided sleep meditation.
Did you know that TracksToRelax is on Instagram? That’s okay, we’re still learning
about social media ourselves. Come visit us to see what goes on behind the
microphone. You’ll not only be able to sample meditations as they are released,
you’ll see how we put the meditations together, listen in on upcoming meditations,
catch the latest sleep comic, watch funny outtakes, as well as little blurbs to help you
get to know us a littler better. You can also read our public blog at www.TracksToRelax.com/sleepblog
New Ways To Subscribe
We’re pretty excited to announce that membership to Tracks To Relax is now
available on YouTube. Yes! You can now become a premium member on YouTube
by visiting www.BedtimeMeditations.com. Membership is available at the Bronze,
Silver or Gold level and you’ll get access to the same great meditations you do at the
equivalent level on Patreon. We are still in the process of uploading our complete
sleep meditation library to YouTube and we expect this to be completed over the
next week or so.
Additionally, you can also subscribe to our Premium Podcast on Libsyn at
www.TracksToRelax.NET Memberships here are at the Gold Level at $9.99 per
month and there’s also an option to join for 3 months at $24.95 which offers a
savings of about $5.
Breaker Audio Discontinued
We recently received a notification from Breaker Audio that Patreon will no longer be
supported on their platform. If you’ve been using Breaker to listen, then you may
wish to change to using your Private RSS feed instead. For a list of compatible
podcast APPs that will work with your Private RSS feed, check out this article:
Support for Breaker will end Feb 29th.
What our listeners are saying
I use a Tracks to Relax meditation every night when going to sleep. I love deciding
on which meditation to use every night. I vary them depending on mood. I have lost
some weight and resolved some health issues recently, so I started yoga again last
week. Thursday I went for the second time. Had a blast. Started walking to my car
and thought... oh, I must have pulled a muscle. Nope. 9 hours later after a trip in an
ambulance to the hospital I was home diagnosed with a kidney stone... my first.
I didn't really sleep that first night because of the meds I took. I sat in a chair and just
tried to doze., but once it was gone and I was needing to get back to normal sleep
on Friday, I felt rather nervous about trying to sleep. I was afraid I would wake up in
pain again. So I picked a very comforting to me meditation (I honestly don't
remember which one) and slept just fine.
Sleep has been good since then, If I wake in the middle of the night, which I do given
the intake in water I'm drinking now, I pick another to listen to to go back to sleep.
I'm kind of frustrated that I don't know what happens in most of the meditations
because I fall asleep long before the end. But I am so thankful to have them.
Thank you. - Ellen
I began listening to this podcast at the beginning of this year. Never have I found
someone with such a calming & relaxing voice to listen to before. I was so
impressed that I joined as a silver patron & have been enjoying listening so much
you don't even know. Last October I sustained an injury, coming home in complete
darkness, and tripping and falling down on my face on the pavement. I could literally
see nothing, and my foot got caught on something and I fell.
It turned out I ended up getting a concussion, and with it a lot of pain, anxiety, worry,
and stress on my mind and body. Worry and anxiety would flood my body in the
middle of the night, and for quite a while I could find nothing to prevent it or to help
me. Then I found this podcast, and every time I play a meditation or podcast, it is so
relaxing that I am usually out within seconds. For a healing mind and body the rest
and relaxation is so very important.
I am so Grateful that I found this podcast. It has become a key part of my healing
journey, and I make sure to mention TTR as often as possible in order to help this
podcast gain followers, and to guide people to help themselves on their own healing
journeys whatever they might look like. Thank you so much again, what you do is So
very appreciated. - Bee
My husband and I fall asleep to your voice every night. I have my favourites (without
crickets or birds) that are 30 minutes or longer. I have listened to many relaxation
recordings before I found you, and now I don’t have to search any further. Thank you
so much for your work. - Laurie
We can’t thank you enough for your kind words & having the courage to share your
struggles and stories with us. Thank you !
Thanks again to all of you for your continued support. We literally could not do this
without you and we appreciate you all more than we could ever say in words. We
hope you can sense our gratitude for your support in each of the sleep meditations
we create. Until our next newsletter, we wish you a relaxing and peaceful sleep.
Alan & Nikki
It's no wonder people are tossing and turning as they try to fall asleep at bedtime. With so much stress in our lives, getting to sleep can be a challenge sometimes. When warm milk and counting sheep fail to end your insomnia, it's time to use the most powerful sleep aid available, your mind!
Bedtime stories are nice and can provide some distraction, but they aren't really designed to calm you mind and body or help you fall asleep. Sleep meditations can be much more effective for bringing about a state of relaxation and there are more sleep meditation podcasts available online now, than ever before. The problem is that many of these podcasts are just providing audio stories that vary in their effectiveness to help you fall asleep.
Tracks To Relax Sleep Meditations are written by a Master NLP Practitioner/Master Hypnotist so that both your conscious and subconscious mind are engaged in the process of calming your mind and body. Basically, our sleep meditations are occupying your conscious mind while we provided positive suggestions for relaxation and sleep to your subconscious using a soothing tone that encourages these responses. The bottom line is that there's much more to our audio sessions that meets the ear.
If you haven't had the opportunity to listen to a Tracks To Relax Sleep Meditation, you can enjoy one of our free sessions on our podcast at www.TracksToRelaxPodcast.com If you'd like to support what we're doing and also get access to our sleep meditation collection, you can subscribe to our premium content on Patreon, YouTube or Libsyn, the links to each of these is below. A special thanks to all our wonderful members, we are grateful for your support everyday and we feel privileged that you let us help you sleep better!
YouTube Channel: Tracks To Relax on YouTube - Membership Signup Page
Libsyn Podcasts: www.TracksToRelax.net
Just because it's "bedtime" doesn't mean your ready for bed. For many people it can be a bit of a challenge to calm our mind when it's time to go to sleep. One of the benefits of using Tracks To Relax Sleep Meditations is that it re-directs you focus and attention to more relaxing thoughts so that you mind can calm down. It doesn't take long before all those thoughts about your worries, problems and challenges fade away and are replaced by a beautiful beach, a relaxing waterfall, or a relaxing nature scene. These powerful meditations engage your senses and whisk you away from reality for a while, allowing you to relax completely and drift off to sleep in the process. Just slip on your headphones and click play on a Tracks To Relax Sleep Meditation and start looking forward to bedtime again. It really is the most relaxing way to end your day.
Free Podcast: www.TracksToRelaxPodcast.com
Become a Patron (130+ meditations) : www.patreon.com/trackstorelax
Become a member on YouTube: YouTube Memebership