Michael Dresser

mindful sex  & intimacy coaching

Discover more mindful pleasure, intimacy, sex and relationships. Safe, gentle, and engaging environments for you to learn how to create connection, and have more fun with your body.

caucasian naked man holding big red paper heart isolated on white background

Turn Yourself On, Switch Yourself Off

Most of us know that deep breathing can be a good way to relax. But did you know there's a way to turbo-charge that relaxation process?

 

Have you ever wished you could turn your brain off… stop it whirling round and round in ever-increasing circles? Most of us know that breathing is a good way to relax. But did you know there’s a way to turbo-charge that relaxation process?

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I tried some mindful meditation: bringing my focus to my breath as it flowed in and out; returning my awareness to my breath every time it wandered off. But it wasn’t enough – my mind seemed to wander off more quickly than I could catch it!

And then I remembered Betty Martin’s advice that our bodies are a powerful tool when it comes to helping still the mind. As she points out: it’s not about turning the mind off so much as switching your body on.

On a physiological level bringing our attention to sensation in our skin actually helps switch the brain from being ‘active’ (all that over-thinking, chattering and judging) into being ‘receptive’ – switching our nervous systems from the ‘Sympathetic’ (fight-or-flight mode) to the ‘Parasympathetic’ (relaxation mode).

As I lay awake I wondered whether some of the techniques I use with my clients to help connect them with what they can actually feel in their body might also help me quieten down my over-active grey matter.

Alongside our lips and our genitals our hands contain the highest concentration of nerve endings in our body. If you want to kick-start sensation, even without getting sexy, then hands are a great place to go to!

So here’s a 5 minute sensate-focus exercise you can benefit from as a meditation any time, anywhere to help get you out of your mind and into your body. And maybe even off to sleep!