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Meditation for Relaxation and Relief from Insomnia

As a former insomniac, I discovered meditation at around age 14. Its sole purpose was to relax my body and focus my mind enough so that I could sleep more than three or four hours a night. Meditation for this purpose is a wonderful way to come to understand your physical body and what stress (or a high metabolism) is doing to it. Through the years, I have found that for this meditation it is easiest to be lying on your back, even if you do not normally sleep that way. You should be able to feel yourself better.

First, take a slow deep breath. Think about how you breathe when you are sleeping and mimic that. Then, feel your toes and the soles of your feet, focus on them. Feel the material of your sheet or blanket on the tips of them, your arch. Think of the muscles, tense from a long day of walking. Now, feel them begin to relax. Focus on your toes and feeling them relaxing. Feel the muscles in the soles of your feet do the same thing. Remember to keep breathing deeply, too. When they really begin to relax, they’ll start feeling tingly, almost a very pleasant numb feeling.

Now, move up your feet to the tops of them and do the same thing. When relaxation is reached, move up to your calves and thighs.

If you manage to relax your whole body in this manner, and you are not asleep yet, feel free to take it even farther. Begin again at your feet and focus on your skin. Feel your skin begin to ‘melt’ away. This will, surprisingly, relax you farther. If you are still awake after going through a second time, it does not hurt to go through a third ‘melting’ away muscle, ligaments, and tendons.

Understand, that when beginning any meditation there will be stray thoughts some across. Do not worry about these, they are normal. Simply acknowledge them and push them to the side, refocusing on your task. Also, the tingling sensation I described may be a different experience for different people. You alone will know when you are relaxed enough to move on to the next stage. Also remember to focus on your breathing. It’s tantamount for meditation.