Practical ways to keep overthinking at bay
If you struggle to switch off your mind and fall asleep, overthinking and anxiety may be at fault. Therapist and SMIBA resident psychologist Hope Bastine offers you the following tips to avoid overthinking and sleep like a baby at night!
Why do we overthink?
You overthink when your brain processes the events that has occurred during the day. With so many things going on, your brain receives much information that you don’t have enough time and space to evaluate during the daytime. So, once you lay on your bed to hit the hay, all the thoughts and things you have done throughout the day start rolling around in your head.
Technology is making things worse, as the use of digital devices at bedtime contributes to your inability to sleep. Checking your social media accounts, playing video games and watching movies on Netflix can make it harder to drift away into the slumber land.
Scientifically speaking, technological activities activate beta brainwaves that are responsible for making you alert and engaged, which can cause anxiety. So, always turn off your mobile phone, tablet, and laptop at least one hour before bedtime.
To avoid overthinking, here are the things you need to do:
Make some time to relax:
Developing and maintaining the habit of devoting at least one hour before bedtime to relaxation and meditation is of vital importance. Indeed, this can make it easier to initiate and maintain sleep at night. No matter the circumstances may be, always commit to having some time to process your thoughts and evaluate daytime events.
This helps activate the alpha brainwave state, according to Bastine. If you can’t afford one whole hour, choose three of your favorite relaxing activities and make them a nighttime routine. For instance, drink some green tea, light a candle, and meditate.
These pre-bed rituals will definitely help you reclaim your sleep and avoid overthinking.
Chat your thoughts off:
To keep overthinking at bay, share your most worrying thoughts with a friend, partner, or family member that you trust. A mindful communication, deep conversation and strong connection can help you combat negativity and gloomy thinking.
On top of that, the ability to openly talk to someone about your thoughts, and the feeling of having a strong bond with someone will make you feel happier and more secure.
Interestingly, this can help increase the production of oxytocin as well. This activates the arousal state and leads to quality sex and good orgasm, which in turn, improves the quality of your sleep.
Try journal writing:
If you don’t have anybody to chat with, or would rather write than have a conversation with someone, journal writing is the best option for you. It is important to be conscious of your negative thoughts, but once you close your notebook, you should put these thoughts behind you. Don’t forget to put your notebook in a drawer out of your sight.
However, it’s best to include some positivity in your journal writing. Try writing three things that went well during the day, and three others you are proud of thankful for. This can be as simple as spending some quality time with your best friend, or the relaxing sound of beach waves.
Don’t block your thoughts:
If you struggle to fall asleep, or suffer from constant waking up episodes, you may try to stop the negative thoughts that circulate in your mind. Unfortunately, this can complicate the problem even further.
Blocking your thoughts is unauthorized in mindfulness and meditation, since your stress and anxiety originate from your resistance to the unpleasant, your attachment to the pleasant and your fear of losing something or someone. Therefore, you should learn to accept the law of impermanence and appreciate anything you accumulate in your life experiences, regardless of how unpleasant or pleasant it may be – this is the first step towards happiness.
Do you overthink at night? Are you willing to follow these tips to sleep more peacefully?