For as long as I can remember I have had trouble sleeping
When I was very young I recall frequent night terrors which quickly turned into panic attacks - the only thing that would console me was music (on my walkman #yeahthe90s)
Unfortunately I didn't grow out of this vicious habit....it actually got worse.
Much, MUCH worse!
This is my mind at 4am on a Wednesday morning.
Can't sleep, maybe I should google what the weather is doing tomorrow, what else do I have to do tomorrow? Did I lock the front door? Remember that one time you were gossiping about that person and they were standing right behind you, cringe, what was that noise? *DOG SNORES* I like the way you work it no-diggity, STOP! BREATHE! did I pay the power bill? Why is my pillow so uncomfortable all of a sudden? I bet John swapped them when I wasn't looking *JOHN SNORES* *ALARM SOUNDS*
Even though this sounds incredibly frustrating I do have a few tricks up my sleeve and I am here to share!
1.) Did you know you can trick your brain? You heard. Its called 'Metacognition', or in simpler terms 'thinking about thinking'. Our mind likes to be comfortable and achieve easy tasks, like blinking. There are many ways to train the brain but I find one of the most effective and easiest ways is to count backwards. When you force a thought unexpectedly your brain switches on instead of playing the same record over and over. I find this technique calming and a quick short term help. Now that I think about it, this idea is simply another way to explain mindfulness. Its all about halting the thoughts that are in the past or future and being present.
2.) Surroundings. Serious question, what do you surround yourself with when you go to bed each night? Do you have a cluttered bedroom with mess for days? Do you sleep with your Iphone under your pillow (wouldn't want to miss out on those Snapchat updates!)? Clear the air! This is the pep talk you have been waiting for to create your perfect sleeping quarters. #springcleanyourspace
3.) Be kind to yourself. Nothing calms the mind more than hearing positive affirmations. So why do we wait to hear them from our nearest and dearest when we can say them to ourselves whenever we like? I challenge you to tell yourself three kind things about your day each night before you go to bed.
Get creative, be weird, make yourself laugh and I promise you this will set you up for the best nights sleep!
My three kind things:
- You made a boss meal for dinner
- You made 3 people laugh today with your jokes
- You were patient with that difficult customer
4.) YOGA! One of my favorite times to practice yoga is at night when there is nothing left to do. I find my mind present, I can breathe deeper and I am able to release the weight of the day easier setting me up for a GREAT nights sleep.
Take back control of your sanity, sleep and mind today!