I’ve noticed lately that when I have trouble going to sleep it’s usually because my mind is very active. It’s as if a thought or story has triggered it into a hyper state that keeps me from relaxing enough to fall asleep.
As I became more aware of this pattern, I could actually feel the moment my mind clicked in and grabbed onto something that would take it, and me, down the rabbit hole.
I decided to practice letting go of the thoughts in that moment and not let them become fully engaged. It’s working really well.
What you need to know about your thoughts.
Experts estimate that we have 60,000 to 80,000 per day. Most of them are simply repetition of thoughts we had before and completely useless. Many of them contradict each other. Most importantly, your thoughts are just what happens to be running through your mind; they are not who you are.
The thoughts we choose to focus on shape our lives and impact how we feel. If you think about sad things you will be sad. If you think about your perceived limitations, they will hold you back. But, you also have the opportunity to focus on positive, loving thoughts that will help you feel empowered and happy.
I look at my thoughts as if they are on a ticker tape or conveyor belt running above my head. I get to pull down the ones I want and let the others ride on by.
The fun part of this metaphor is that if you find your thinking going down the wrong path, you can simply put those thoughts back and choose ones you like better. There is an endless supply of all kinds, so choose carefully. The more you cultivate a positive mindset, the better you will feel.
How can you use this to sleep better?
As soon as I feel my brain jumping into a story or thought pattern, I imagine letting them go back up to the conveyor belt in the sky. With a little practice, I was able to keep disconnecting from any thoughts that came up until it felt like I was thought free. Floating with an empty mind. This is when sleep comes.
You may be thinking I have special talents and you can’t do this. Or, you might be laughing because you think I’m a little weird, but I know that if I can do it you can too. And, we all deserve a good night’s sleep.
Keep this perspective in the day time as well. Choose thoughts that make you feel better. Let the others go. Limit the time you spend on stories of being wronged or not good enough as they are not worth your time at all.
If you do, I promise it can change your life.