I do not know about you, but there are times in my life when I have so much going on that's it's nearly impossible to shut my brain off long enough to get to sleep. Even worse, I may be able to get sleep, but something wakes me up in the middle of the night and before I know it, my brain is running through my to-do list. I find myself wondering about the next day, worrying about my family, thinking about all of the things that have to be done, but I do not have time for. Then I start to panic because I have no idea how I'm going to get all of those things done if I have not gotten enough sleep. Here's a very simple meditation technique that can quiet your brain and get your body some much needed rest.
When you're in bed and your mind is racing, take five deep, slow breaths. While you're breathing, take note of any muscles in your body that are tensed and relax them. Now, pay attention to your thoughts. Every time a thought enters your brain, picture a red, helium balloon getting tied to the thought. The thought then drifts away out of the top of your head. Keep visualizing the red balloon taking your thoughts away until you drift away to sleep.
This technique takes some practice but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Best of all, your brain and your body will get the rest it needs to actually tackle that to-do list when you're awake.