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Breathe and relax
Melinda Shenk
Executive director, Marianne's House
Bellingham, Wash.

With all of the pressures of business, family and personal issues, sometimes the brain just keeps on working even when you are exhausted. I did a little research and came up with the conclusion that almost all "together" people meditate. Even if you can't or don't want to get into the whole meditation thing, an easy way to relax and shut off the brain is to concentrate on your breathing. Listen to yourself inhale and exhale. Every time you wander back to thinking again, purposely focus on your breathing.

It takes practice but it does work. I used to wake up every few hours and have a hard time getting back to sleep. Now I usually sleep at least six hours before waking, and I might be able to grab one more hour of lighter sleep.

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LAST UPDATE: Aug 25 2008 | 10:47 AM ET
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