Perhaps you’re someone whose mind is always busy. Do you think about the events of your day as you wind down for the evening? Do you worry about your family, your job, your finances, and what tomorrow will bring?
Sometimes it’s difficult to empty your mind of all these details long enough to fall asleep. This can lead to tossing and turning as your mind fights sleep.
There are 4 steps that you can reduce the worry about situations and events in your life long enough to allow you to rest and fall asleep. The key is finding a process that works for you. The goal is to clear your mind and consciously realize that tomorrow is the time to tackle problems and tonight is the time to sleep.
- Write down all of your worries: One technique you can try is the practice of writing down all your worries and concerns before you retire for the night. Keep a notebook available for just this purpose.
- Create Worry-Free Planner: List in point form those things that you are worrying about. Make note of which of these items you can deal with tomorrow. Have a decisive plan of action for what you are going to accomplish tomorrow. This will make you feel positive that tomorrow you will take care of certain items on your “worry list”.
- Identify issues that you can’t control: Make a separate list in your notebook that contains only those things in your life over which you have no control. Firmly tell yourself that these items are beyond your power.
- Remind yourself that all your worries are now in the notebook, not in you: Once you have completed, close the notebook and repeat to yourself that you will not think of these worries until tomorrow. If, during the night, you find yourself thinking about any of the items in either list make a mental note to catch yourself and sternly remind yourself that the covers of the notebook are closed and cannot be opened.
If you keep a daily diary, make sure to include all your worries and fears in your diary along with the events of the day. The goal here is to actualize your feelings in writing so that you can be free of them in the evening.
The act of physically writing is the key here to acknowledging that you are worried while at the same time giving yourself permission to rest and deal with these feeling tomorrow.
You may want to consider a combination of soothing music and yoga to clear your mind. Or perhaps reading quietly will keep your mind from wandering back to the stressful thoughts you had during the day.
Once again, the goal here is to relax and prepare you for a night of restful sleep.