Not all of us are good sleepers. We all get to sleep, it’s just that some people do a much better job at falling asleep or staying asleep than others.
At certain points in our lives, we find ourselves faced with anxiety. It’s not normal, but at the same time it is not completely abnormal either. It’s just another part of life.
The thing about the occurrence of anxiety, especially before our bed times, is that it can be detrimental to one’s health. In many cases, people lose sleep completely because of it.
Getting right into it, here are our 7 ways to help you alleviate anxiety before bed.
1. Talk to a trusted person
Whether if it’s a friend or a family member, people can become a safe space, too. I could not emphasise enough the importance of having a social support system. Although that is not to say that you rely on others whenever you’re feeling your lowest. It’s just one of those instances where you need to feel heard.
It is by telling others of what you’re going through and how you feel about it do you feel less alone. The comfort is in knowing that your story is being told and heard.
It is also completely understandable if you’re not looking for others’ input. You just want to do the venting bit. Yet when people decide to chime in, also acknowledge that whatever they’re saying to you is often with your best interest in mind. For all you know, they might see things from angles you haven’t been aware of.
2. Engage in positive self-talk
Racing thoughts are a common symptom of anxiety attacks. It’s almost as if your mind is flashing image after image, thought after thought, and memory after memory without your consent. And you can’t stop it, at least not instantly unlike normal thought flows.
If this ever happens, do understand that there are explanations for its occurrence. Most of the time, you don’t even know what it exactly is until you put in your mental energy to getting it. Racing thoughts stem from unchecked worries. It’s the last thing you need to keep you up late at night, or all night.
One way to deal with this is by practicing positive self-talk. Do this by working with your inner monologue. To get the full ‘big picture’ perspective of your distresses and what its underlying causes are, you need to identify any false or exaggerated thought processes. Once you do, counter the negativity with something optimistic. What you need is reassurance that you’re not stuck.
3. Write it all out
Journaling sounds like a cliché thing to do when it comes to taking emotional care advice. Its widespread recommendation is actually what gives it more credibility as it seemingly works on so many people.
Many psychological studies have proven that writing our feelings on paper or pad to be most beneficial, especially in helping sufferers from identifying their false, negative thought patterns. As a matter of fact, consistent journaling is one of the many prescriptions therapists often task their patients with. It’s not limited to only anxiety, but also for people who experience depressive episodes and mood swings, too.
Find yourself an hour or even 30-minutes of your time before bed, and dedicate it to writing your experience and emotions. The best way out of any unpleasant emotion is in simply by feeling it through. So, as you write, let your words relate to your emotions in all its wonder. Then ask yourself, “Is this even valid?”
Granted, it is our responsibility to validate our own feelings. However, we should also keep in mind that not all of our worries are rational.
4. Listen to your favourite uplifting songs
If you’re not a writer, who could possibly turn down good music?
In spite of how good you think sad songs are, you’re going to have to scratch that. Our emotions respond to how our bodies react to our surrounding environment. That includes all our five senses, including hearing. Let’s give ourselves something lively for a change.
With that being said, move your body to the beat. You don’t have to be a good dancer to enjoy an entertaining, stimulating playlist. It’s all in the name of doing something fun.
5. Drop the booze
Forget ecstasy. You’re alive and you’re experiencing something real, despite the ups and downs. Alcohol and unprescribed drugs won’t get you anywhere with where you are at or with what you are feeling. Once it’s over, reality will sink right back in. And it will hit you hard.
It goes without saying that alcohol is not a means of coping. It’s a beverage for other energetic occasions. Although what is the harm in feeling every emotion as is?
There is a time and place for delighting oneself with potent drinks but not at night alone, before bed, with crippling anxiety.
6. Watch a light-hearted comedy series
This never gets old. It actually ties back to the fourth thing on this list, that our emotions respond to how our bodies react to any given stimulus.
Even when you begin to feel your lowest, there is never any harm in trying to bring a smile to your face. Watching a comedy drama is arguably the easiest thing you could do to dispel anxiety on this list. It involves no thinking, minimal muscle movement, and the only thing you’re focusing on is the work of fiction shown in front of you.
That feeling when you smile, or if you burst into laughter, your mind creates for itself a sense of security. You are reassuring your subconscious mind that nothing around you is a posable threat.
In fact, you might actually feel more ready for sleep right after finishing up an episode or two. Your adrenaline levels have dropped, which allows your body to rest in a more relaxing state. Sleep is all about being at peace.
7. Practice mindfulness
Achieving mindfulness is a lifelong pursuit but it is all about trying the best you can. Some people attempt this in meditation, and some in prayers. There really is no one way to get this right. It’s just about being present.
By choosing to ‘exist’ completely in the present moment, we’re not allowing worries or regrets to have any control over us.
Mindfulness encompasses several core concepts; patience, gratitude, acceptance, and understanding of what you can and cannot do. Those aforementioned concepts run deeper than they sound. The reality of dispelling anxiety is all in confronting our fears, typically that of the future. And fear could not be effective so long as there is hope.
We just need to take the extra mile and give ourselves our own faith.
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