The Importance of Positive Thinking
Research shows that dwelling on the past- especially prior negative events- can have a devastating effect on sleep quality. Negative thinking causes unrestful sleep with plenty of interruptions and even bad dreams! Recurring negative thinking patterns in the evening and at bedtime can lead to full-blown insomnia and even depression, making sleep difficult to achieve and to consistently maintain.
Positive thinking before bed is a key way to not only get the required eight hours but also to tap into the deepest, most uninterrupted sleep possible. Creating a positive thought process at bedtime is one of the best ways to create a positive mindset for the following morning and your hectic week ahead.
How To Create A Positive Pre-Sleep Routine
Luckily, you can change your negative outlook with just a bit of attention and awareness. Positive thinking before bed will help improve your overall sleeping patterns while creating better long-term mental health, a more rested mind and body, and a less stressed lifestyle. There are plenty of ways to create a positive thought process at bedtime- here are a few of our favorites:
- Go to bed earlier. A recent study at Binghamton University shows that those who go to bed earlier show less stressful and negative thinking patterns and also wake up in much better, more positive moods. Going to bed fifteen to thirty minutes earlier than usual can improve positive thinking greatly over time and give you the time you need to unwind before hitting the sack.
- Concentrate on your breathing. We always recommend deep breathing exercises for troubled sleepers! Deep, slow breathing can help to relax you, slows your heart rate, and help you regain control over your thoughts and your mental focus.
- Be positive. While a continually positive attitude might seem a bit lofty during a bout of insomnia, you can best manage your mood by concentrating on being positive in just this moment of negative thinking. To banish the negative thoughts, bring in some happy, peaceful ones to send you into a sound, serene slumber.
- Have a happy place. Memorizing and keeping an image of one of your favorite, most peaceful places in your mind’s back pocket is a great tool to relax the anxious thoughts that could be keeping you from a wonderfully restful night’s sleep. When the worries and negative thoughts start piling up, it’s good to bring up an image of a lovely place that will immediately relax you; call upon your most vivid details of the smells, the sights, and the vibes. This happy place could be the ticket to getting those eight hours of much-needed slumber!
- If you can shake the negative thoughts, it’s okay. Accept them for what they are and let them go. If you actively try and forget about something, your brain immediately only wants to think about that particular thing. (For example, try and not think about a pink elephant—you’re definitely now only imagining that beautiful, fuchsia, trunked mammal!) When you’re lying in bed thinking about all of the horrible things that could happen the next day, the best thing to do is accept these thoughts, give them a few breaths to quiet down, and then let them go. Negativity is a plague that keeps many of us from peacefully sleeping but having a plan of action can help dramatically!
What do you do at bedtime to clear your mind of worries and set you up for an uninterrupted, deep sleep?