How to Stop Overthinking and Start Getting Quality Sleep
“I can’t sleep, because of what has happened to me today… I just can’t stop thinking about it, it keeps me awake for hours before I fall asleep.” I bet there is loads of you out there who can relate to this. It is a great struggle when you try to get your lifestly right, you go to sleep on time and you set your alarm to go off after the next 8 hours. Everything is working out perfectly, you wash and go to bed on time. But the moment you lie down your mind goes off. It starts thiking about the things that have happened to you and sometimes even starts coming up with possible scenarios. In short, you will not be falling asleep anytime soon. You wake up the next morning all destroyed thinking that the scheduled 8 hours turned into 6 or 7 hours very easily. What can we do to prevent this from happening? How can we prevent overthinking in the nights we should spent sleeping? That is what we’ll be talking about in this article.
Clarity of Mind Vs Overthinking
This is a never ending battle for some of us. The moment we stop actively thinking about stuff, our minds go off in an uncontrolled directions. This is a result of many factors, including lack of direction in life. What is my why? How do I want to live my life? Where am I heading? What is my focus? What do I need to do to get there? These questions can help you make your direction clearer. Bear in mind, you need to answer them in the correct order (the order respected above). Answering this kind of questions provides you with two very important things. First, you become focused. You know where you’re heading thus it is natural for you to think about that specific direction, that specific goal. Second, it gives you the tool to reduce the amount of decisions you need to make, because once you have your goal, making decisions really becomes black and white – either it gets you closer to your goal or further away from it. This means that you need to think less! That saves you some time and energy for getting things done, instead of trying to figure out what you should do next, or what might happen if you do A or B. Clarity of mind is one of the reasons successful people are where they are, they know what they want and they have learned how to focus on it.
Meditation and It’s Effects on Your Mind
But when we want to sleep, we don’t want to think about a single issue, even if it relates to the goals we’ve set up for ourselves. When we want to go to sleep, we’re looking for the calmness of our mind, we want to empty it and soundly fall asleep. How can we do that? The method that has worked for many and that has changed my nights as well is meditation. It is something that helps you put your thoughts on a pause, or limit them to the extend that allows you to fall asleep fairly quickly without any greater overthinking. It is a way of clearing your mind of any thoughts, which leads to an emotional balance, which is also one of the necessities when it comes to sleep. There is way too many people out there who are supper excited or quiet sad on that evening when they want to sleep, which is directly linked to their thoughts and thus keeps them awake. This is something you might’ve experienced when you were younger and you had a school trip the day after. You got so excited that you let your mind go off and you couldn’t fall asleep for hours because of that.
How to Meditate 101
Meditation needs to be started from the beginning, like any other activity. It is a matter of learning how to reach the state where you literally feel your thoughts going away and where you feel that your mind is completely separated from your issues. This is something only you can discover and only you will know once you’ve reached it. The way I personally started was, in my eyes very creative. What I did is that I found a quiet and comfortable place to sit in, closed my eyes and imagined empty boxes with labels on them. For example, one of the labels said relationships, another one said school, another one said business etc. Then, I would collect all the issues regarding that specific topic and I’d put them in the boxes (in my mind). Once I did that, I’d close the boxes and place them in a room, which I would then close. This is how I mentally separated my thoughts from my mind. After a few weeks I started having this feeling after I’ve put the boxes away. It was a very strange and unfamiliar feeling, but it felt super calm. That’s when I realised that I’ve found the state I wanted to get in. Now I don’t need to use the box method and I can get into that state pretty much without any problems, I’ve learned to get get my mind into that state directly. The lenght of your meditation also depends on you. You can mediate for 5 or 50 minutes. It’s your choice. But bear in mind that if you’re a beginner, it will take time to get used to it. Start with 3 minutes for a few days. The increase progressively until you reach your desired point. Sometimes I like to listen to some traditional chinese music, or ZEN music. It can help calming down your mind and creating a more peaceful environment.
When Should I Meditate?
The reason why you want to meditate is also the answer to this question. Do you want to enter your day with a clear mind? Meditate in the mornings. Do you want to use meditation to improve the quality of your sleep? Meditate before you go to sleep. Do you want to use meditation to calm yourself down when something negative happens? You can do that. It is absolutely your choice.
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