Sometimes with chronic insomnia, it is incredibly difficult to relax your mind. You lay awake, heart palpitating, wishing you could re-wind the night and try again.
Other times, you just feel numb. There isn’t much action going on in your conscious brain, but your subconscious is going wild and you don’t even know it.
Telling yourself to relax doesn’t help either. Sleep is one of those few things in life where the harder you try, the less you accomplish.
Assuming you did all of the basic insomnia cures that you’ve read a million times already, the next on your list should be stress relief techniques.
There are many you can try (and many I will detail in future posts) but one of the simplest is visualization. Visualization can be a great tool to relax your mind from negative sleep thoughts, and hopefully allow you to have a good night’s sleep.
Here are a few things you can do to visualize and relax your mind.
Picture the last time you felt relaxed and at ease.
- Describe the scene in your head. What were sights? Was there anything that stood out to you?
- Imagine the weather. Feel the heat/wind/snow of that day. What sounds were present? Listen to them.
- Note the textures. Did you touch anything? What did it feel like?
- Were there pleasant smells? Who were you with?
- Mentally walk through that scene, and remember how relaxed and at peace you were.
Picture observing something very calming.
For me, I picture my fish tank 🙂
Note the gentle sound of the water filtration – it’s like your own personal mini waterfall. ‘Watch’ the calming way the fish move. They are swimming back and forth effortlessly…maybe they stop to eat, or play with one another. They are simply existing in their own world and living in the present moment. One weaves in and out of the decorative castle in his tank.
What is something that you find calming to just sit back and watch? Is it the trees swaying, maybe waves lapping the beach?
Paint a picture in your mind.
Start with a blank canvas – pick up the brush. What colour do you choose? Begin drawing in your mind. What do you draw? Picture every motion your hand makes. Keep drawing until you feel it is complete.
Counting Sheep and other things
Counting sheep – the traditional “can’t sleep cure”. Sometimes our brains are so wound up from the day that being able to zero in on something as dull as counting can help relax your mind.
Another thing you can do is imagine writing numbers in sand from 100 down to 1, wiping each number away once you’ve “written” it.
If you are having a hard time visualizing, be gentle with yourself. You have been relaxed before. You have been happy and comfortable before and you can be those things now, too. They aren’t lost.
Stick to one of these techniques. If your mind starts to stray and think of other things, try again. Re-imagine the scene you’ve created. Really picture yourself there.
You can do it.