Dealing With Stray Thoughts & Worries At Nighttime

There’s nothing worse than feeling tired. You finally crawl into bed at the end of the day and although you are exhausted you end up having one of those nights when you can’t turn your mind off and you find yourself tossing and turning? We all have days and nights when our busy minds and worries keep us up. Here are 5 simple strategies you can use to deal with those thoughts and worries. Let’s look at a few you can try whenever you need them.

bed - white pillows and comforter
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Downtime Before Bed

If you had a rough day or are going through stressful times, it can help to distract yourself before bed. Read a good book. Watch a movie. Catch up on your favorite show, before bed. For the last hour or two before you lay down, it’s best to avoid screens. Reading or listening to a podcast or some engaging music are great ways to distract yourself. Or how about a good conversation with a loved one, or some private time with your spouse? Get your mind off what’s worrying you and do what you can to leave it until the next morning.

person holding pen and writing in a notebook
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Journal Before Bed

If you can’t quite distract yourself, it’s not a bad idea to face and acknowledge what’s worrying you. Take out a notebook and journal for a page or two. It will help you process whatever is going on in your life. And by writing it down and getting it all out before bed, it can help clear your mind.

Journaling isn’t a quick pill fix. It can take some time to see the long-term benefits. Give it a few weeks and see if it’s something that works for you. Or maybe you’ll get lucky and one night of journaling is enough to calm that busy, anxious mind. After all you only have a page, some ink and a few minutes of your time to lose on this simple exercise.

Nighttime Meditation

If journaling isn’t your thing, or it isn’t quite enough to help on its own, try meditating. There are a number of free apps available to use these days. Meditation any time of the day is a great way to bring calm to your day and reduce stress. It’s particularly helpful right before bed.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you’re anxious and worried when it’s time to go to sleep, mediating can help you shift into a calmer, more centered and present state. Short, guided meditations are especially helpful for beginners. Find one online, plug in your earbuds and give it a try.

women sitting on end of bed cross legged meditating
Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

Gratitude Practice

Cultivating a gratitude practice allows your mind to shift it’s emotional state especially when it is a regular practice. Write down 1 to 3 things that you are grateful for at the end of each day. Remember it can be the big things as well as the little things in your day. If you struggle with that write down what went well in your day.

flatlay of golden pen, pink gratitude journal and blakc notebook and green leaf
Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Keep A Notepad On Your Night Stand

Last but not least, here’s something anyone can do. Go find a little notebook, a notepad, or a piece of scrap paper. Put it along with a pen or pencil on your nightstand. When your mind gets busy about all the things you need to do the next day, or something pops up that you don’t want to forget, write it down. It gives great peace of mind and may be just what you need to fall asleep.

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