alfa wrote:I try to suppress my thoughts as they arise. This calms me down.
Calming down leads to sleep, you need to energise your practise, the mind needs to be active and calm comes later.
I don't know where you learned the above approach but I don't think anyone here would recommend it.
You should bring your attention to whatever is happening in the present moment, body sensation, thought, breathing, feelings etc., noticing each and every little change arising and passing away. You want to be cultivating an alert mind not a dull mind.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah