If you’re anything like me, then you know what I mean when I say, ‘my brain rarely shuts up’. I know people that can practically fall asleep on command. I admit I’m a little envious.
We all have an “off switch”, but finding it can be challenging. It sounds counter intuitive to say, “I have to work to shut down my brain” but when I do, it’s worth it.
Here are just a few tips that have helped me.
At night I wear a sleep mask that covers my eyes. It isn’t that it blocks out light or anything. It applies a little, gentle pressure on my eyes, giving me a little more comfort in the fact that even if I feel an instinct to open my eyes, it would be a moot point and I relax more.
I keep a notepad next to my bed and!write down anything that is on my mind before I lay down, then give myself permission to let it go. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night because you think of or remember something, write it down and let it go.
I also practice Transcendental Meditation. It’s not what most think of as mediation. I’ve researched different types of meditation and none of them really clicked with me, until a friend of mine introduced me to TM. Meditation always meant concentration to me but TM allows your mind to just do what it wants to do and is naturally meant to do, so for me this is the one I stick with. Emotionally speaking, it is the simplest one with the best results.
There are many more things to try, so don’t get discouraged if my techniques don’t work for you.
But the number one thing I realized about my off switch is what it isn’t. It isn’t like the flick of a switch. It does take effort but instead of allowing myself to feel anxiety because it doesn’t come easy, I remind myself that I’m actually lucky to have a mind that is filled with information and ideas and that makes the effort worth it.
I will also say this. If you are that person that needs the TV on to fall asleep at night, make sure to set the sleep timer on it. Almost all TVs nowadays have sleep timers built in. The reason is because everyone’s mind needs at least some actual quiet time.