I use to have a serious problem falling asleep at night. My mind would not shut off. I would think about things that had happened and how I should have handled them better and I would think about things that are going to happens and what I need to do to handle them. I would be up to 3 am trying to sleep but unable to.
I was ruminating! Meaning I was chewing my thoughts over and over like a cow does when eating. For the most part I don't do this anymore. But I read this article which talked about it so clearly that I wanted to share it. What really stood out for me was when the author says thinking about past events is linked to depression and thinking about future events is linked to anxiety. This made total sense but I never thought about my thoughts that way.
One of the reasons we ruminate is because of the ego voice in our head. The voice telling that we should have been better, smart, more capable and that some how my reviewing our past 'failings' or planning ahead endlessly we will be able to be 'perfect' and deal whatever it is we are dwelling on from the past or dreading in the future will be avoided. But it doesn't work that way. Overthinking and critizing ourselves never solved anything.
For me I was able to quite these thoughts when I resolved the root cause of my anxiety which was a belief that I wan't good enough. My mind is still over active at night. Planning all the things I want to do. But I am not ruminating. And for the most part if I give my mind soemthing else to think about then I can fall asleep. I end up listenning to audiobooks over and over again as it gives my brain something to focus on but because I know the story as I have listened to it at least once before prior to listening to it a bedtime I am not exicted about the story and therefore my brain can focus on it and at the same time not engage. This works for me and I am usually asleep within 20 minutes. This beats being up to 3 am!
I love information. I love to read articles and to learn more. On this blog I will be sharing articles I find insightful and helpful with regards to stress, anxiety, loneliness and other related feelings. Occasionally I might even right an article myself. I hope you find these posts helpful.