Written By Jasmine
Ever feel like your brain is on a fast track to nowhere? You’re thoughts rushing up multi-lanes and then switching lanes up ahead, at 90 miles an hour? Taking your mind off of what is in front of you all day, just to keep you awake at night? We have all been there at one time or another, and in varying degrees.
I was plagued with insomnia from an early age. As an adult, I needed to find some answers to this dilemma. Anyone that has spent night after night painfully aware of the fact that one is not sleeping, and sneaking occasional looks at the clock validating this fact, will understand what I am talking about. Compound by years and there is a personal epidemic at hand.
Sleeping pills have just never been an option for me, the idea of slapping a bandage on a wound that won’t heal and suffering the side effects that accompany a drug were unacceptable. I found a few solutions that eventually worked for me. One was meditation and relaxation technique I would practice once I had jumped into bed ready for sleep. That is a type of whole body and mind solution. The other I found to be useful was journaling. To me it was beginning at the source of what was holding me back. Writing down my thoughts in a journal I made special for this purpose. I began by writing at night before I would try to go to sleep. Whatever was jumbled up in my mind, at the time, was written down. I discovered a key thing was to not worry about spelling, punctuation or sentence structure.
Focusing on that takes away from what you’re trying to do. Just get it down on paper. By doing this it allows the mind to be freed up from that particular thought and enabling it to move on. Starting slow is a good thing. This allows you to establish a routine and writing thoughts down becomes easier as you go along. Once you become comfortable with it, making it a practice at other times during the day will afford you an outlet to the chatter that does not differentiate between times of day. You might find your able to concentrate better on your task that is in front of you, rather than spacing out to where a troublesome spot is in your mind, after writing down thoughts that are plaguing you at the time.
It works for times when you wake up and find it difficult to go back to sleep. Once you realize you’re not going to drift off and quickly back to dreamland…pull up your handy journal and jot the top most thoughts on your mind. Then try again. If you take stock of the thoughts that merry-go-round in your head, you can put them into categories. There are the issues in your mind that you have no control over, nothing you can do to change it and are out of your hands. You still might worry about such things, but by recognizing that you can do nothing about them, you’re acknowledging this in your conscious mind.
The next step is to let it go. It does not mean you don’t care about the situation, it simply means you are letting it go from worrying about it.
The other category of concerns and thoughts are the ones you DO have some control over. It might be easier to start with the simpler ones. One at a time, take stock of the nagging top of the pile, stuff that you can step in and deal with right now. By paring down the mountain of concerns and focusing on them one at a time, you can lighten your load of concerns. Using journaling as an outlet to help the chatter in your mind is only a beginning to where it personally might take you.
Some might discover a creative vein buried inside that desires to be vented. Others might use it as vehicles to get down the road, and then in retrospective reading, find out they really have made progress where it was not realized before. At the very least, you might see a pattern, where you see no progress being made, and you can then make adjustments and try a different course of action. A pattern in a particular subject that keeps popping up in your writing can lead you to a possible solution or allowing yourself to let it go because you have no control over it.
Whatever an outcome, for your own personal gain, it’s an inexpensive and creative choice for helping yourself move down your path in a healthy manner. Then, finally find peace of mind to drift off to sleep to discover some nice sweet dreams.