If you want to combine concentration with relaxation to bring about healthy slumber, make yourself comfortable as you lie in bed, about twenty minutes or so before you desire to sleep. Adjust your bedding and nightclothes so that you do not feel restricted by the tightness or folds of material, and move into a relaxed, snug position before closing your eyes.
Become aware of your breath as you slowly breathe in and out. Let your thoughts follow air as it enters your body and your chest and stomach rise, and as air leaves your system and your chest and stomach fall. When other thoughts spring to mind, do not fight them and struggle to get rid of them. At the same time, do not make judgments about them in any way. For example, do not chastise yourself for having a negative thought or attempt to work out what a picture that pops into your mind means. Simply accept your thoughts as being there, instead of attributing any meaning to them, and let them go.
You might like to imagine that you are breathing in positive energy with each breath that you take and releasing negativity with every out breath. Alternatively, you can imagine that the air that you breathe comes up through the earth before it reaches your body, and then streams out into the heavens as you exhale.
As you practice, you will discover that focusing on your breath becomes easier and easier, and you probably will not want to use your imagination at all as you concentrate. You will be able to discover the space between thoughts that is silent and liberating. Focusing in this manner will teach you how to control your emotions in a balanced way, so that you can let go of negative imagery and thoughts that cause you to feel stressed. The less stressed you are, the easier it will be to get to sleep.
You can also practice focusing in order to relax during the day, which will strengthen your ability to meditate. Perhaps, you will continue using breath mindfulness, or you will concentrate on visualizing a simple object and seeing it in detail using your mind’s eye.
Combining focus with relaxation regularly will help you recognize how your body and mind feel when they are peaceful and calm. This will enable you to recall such a feeling when you want to re-create it and enjoy healthy sleep.