Sometimes in life, especially when we’re stressed, it can be difficult to fall asleep.
It’s as though the worries of daily life just keep going round and round in our mind.
Stress – doesn’t have to be something that keeps you awake at night.
Rather than fighting your thoughts, which just feeds them and keeps them at the centre of your attention, there are many simple techniques that cost nothing, but make a huge difference!
Here’s one of my favourites.
I call it the “Gratitude Spiral”.
The last thing we’re thinking about at bedtime – and the last emotion we’re feeling – can have a major impact on the quality of our sleep.
It’s as though those final pre-sleep thoughts give our mind the unconscious message about what we want to focus on for the next few hours. It then tends to send us dreams that match the emotions we were feeling as we fell asleep – and we’re also likely to wake up with those feelings, too.
So it makes sense that consciously creating a happy mood as we fall asleep can make a big difference.
And it’s easier than you might think.
It’s not about pretending that everything is ok, even if you’re convinced it’s not. It’s not about “rejecting” any worries or negative thoughts you’re having. It is about allowing happier thoughts to creep in and have centre stage for a while.
And one of the simplest ways to achieve that is to think about things you’re grateful for.
It’s amazing how quickly a couple of things you feel thankful for can grow – triggering other things you feel grateful for and creating an ever-growing spiral.
It’s an incredibly effective way of shifting your mood.
And just imagine the kinds of dreams you’ll get, if that’s how you fall asleep?! 🙂
To help programme your unconscious mind to send you great dreams and help you wake up in a good mood is really easy.
- Before you fall asleep, think about something in your life that you feel really grateful for.. This might be people, experiences, opportunities, weather – the choice is yours!
- Once you have identified something specific, allow yourself to gently rest in the feeling – the emotion – of feeling grateful.
- Really dive back into the experience that you’re remembering – seeing what you would see, hearing what you would hear, feeling the physical sensations you would feel.
- Allow the intensity of your gratitude to ramp up, perhaps imagining you are turning a dial to increase it.
- Then think of something else you feel grateful for and repeat the process. You’ll notice that the more things you think of, the more things you can think of to think of!
- Keep finding more and more things you feel grateful for until you feel the shift in your mood or – most likely – fall asleep. zzzzzzzz…..
Once you’re used to doing this, to help cement the new habit and remind yourself to do it each night, pick something you do shortly before going to sleep to act as a trigger. For example, if you read a book before falling asleep, you might like to choose the act of closing the book and putting it down, to remind you. Or perhaps it’s turning off your bedroom light. Or perhaps putting your head on the pillow.
You only need to do this for a few days and already you’re creating a life-long positive habit.
Want to take this to the next level?
To really create a positive shift in your thinking, how about changing your life with a gratitude journal? Keep a journal of everything you feel grateful for. Writing it down multiplies the power of this exercise beyond anything you could imagine. And if you’re feeling down, reading your notes will instantly lift your mood and shift your perspective.
And if you’d like to discover how to make gratitude part of your daily life, you could join in with The Miracle Of Gratitude project.
Once you have tried the Gratitude Spiral out, how about sharing your experiences via the comments box? We’d love to hear from you!