Just as we should reset our computers now and then by turning them off and back on, our brains also need the opportunity to organize and refresh to continue working optimally. Too often we head to bed with the world weighing us down, giving into anxieties about what has happened and what’s yet to be, and allowing our brains to overthink in the moments we should be preparing to doze off.
If you’re feeling especially overwhelmed by work, your personal life, or anything in between, it may be time to make a conscious effort to allow your brain to reboot itself while you’re sleeping, at least according to Mindbodygreen. The wellness site recently described strategies to consider practicing before you head to bed each night to make sure your brain gets some restorative and productive work in while you catch some z’s. Here’s how you can wake up rejuvenated, energized, and ready to tackle the day.
Focus on something you accomplished: Even if your day didn’t go according to plan, there’s no doubt that in some way, shape, or form you made at least some step toward your goals and ambitions. Rather than replaying the ways you fell short that day, focus on what you did accomplish and appreciate yourself for rising to the occasion, no matter how small. “Relive the experience, feeling the encouragement and confidence as if it were happening now,” writes Daniel Dowling, CEO of MillennialSuccess.io, for MBG. Acknowledging our positive actions and attributes will fuel us to continue acting toward self-improvement. Allow these memories to take up your mental space, especially right before you go to sleep.
Feel gratitude: At the end of every day, take a few minutes to list at least five things for which you’re thankful. It could be a friend who’s always there for you, family members you love and miss, or your health. Even in the hardest of times, there are always things for which we can express our gratitude. Instead of letting worries and anxieties fill your headspace as you finish up another day, allow yourself time to acknowledge all that is going right, even the simple things you may take for granted.
Plan: Finally, take the feelings of pride and confidence you felt when considering your accomplishments in step one, and apply those to generate optimism about the future. Allow the gratitude you expressed in step two to shape the strength and support you feel planning what’s next. Visualize yourself achieving your goals, and then commit to them in writing, giving your brain the framework to work through obstacles, determine solutions, and mentally prepare while you snooze.
Next, discover the nightly routines of 14 successful women.