For many of us, as soon as it’s time for bed, the brain begins buzzing. We might experience racing thoughts or a thought or two that keeps gnawing at us. Then those thoughts can turn into worry thoughts about not being able to function the next day because we slept poorly. It can become a vicious cycle.
And it’s exhausting—physically and mentally.
Below are some tips to help you banish that anxiety so you can drift off to dreamland faster — no sleeping pill required.
Face Your Worries
Telling yourself, “Don’t think about it,” is likely to backfire. Trying to suppress your worrisome thoughts may add to your distress. Accept that you feel anxious and your intrusive thoughts may actually subside. On the other hand, dissecting the source of your anxiety is the first important step to banishing it.
You have to identify what it is that’s causing you to stay awake and deal with that before crawling into bed. People worry about all kinds of things when they’re in bed, and that’s not the time to think things through.
Get Out of Bed
Most people stay in bed and hope they’ll get tired and fall asleep, but
Calm Your Body
Feelings of anxiety can lead to unwelcome physical symptoms, like increased heart rate, dry mouth, sweaty palms, and upset stomach. You may even have trouble sleeping or difficulty sitting still. Those physical symptoms can feed anxious feelings and upsetting thoughts, which will make your anxiety even worse.
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Take steps to calm your body. Go for a jog, do some yoga, practice deep breathing, or perform relaxation skills. Calming your body can be key to calming your mind.
Engage in Problem-Solving
Separate the things you can control from the things you can’t. Then, focus your efforts on addressing the problems you have some control over.
If you’re worried you’re going to look unprofessional at your job interview next week, take steps to prepare yourself the best you can. If you’re concerned about your debt, work on a budget. Whenever possible, turn your worrisome thoughts into productive behavior.
Focus On The Positive
When you’re lying in bed worrying, it helps to turn to more positive thoughts. You can focus on good memories and happy events. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment.
Remember, it is ok if you can't sleep because of anxiety from time to time, but if