My brain races a million miles a minute. I am always thinking about something. Heck, even when I think I’m not thinking about something, I’m thinking about how I’m not thinking about something. Were you able to follow that? Things get even worse for me around bedtime, as my brain cannot turn itself off.
I think about every embarrassing thing I’ve ever done, the list of things I have to get done tomorrow, and why that one person never texted me back in college. Needless to say, I’ve had to find ways to shut off my brain.
While there is (unfortunately) no off button for our brains, there are ways to quiet the mind. If you also struggle to turn off your brain before bed, or just want to stop all the noise, here are some tips that may help you out.
If you’re struggling to turn off your brain, specifically around bedtime, you need to get on a schedule. Start by getting up at the same time every single day. This may be hard at first, especially if you’re not able to fall asleep until 12 or 1 a.m., but it’s the first step to regulating your sleep.
Then, make sure you’re getting yourself in bed at the same time every night. Do your best to stick to this schedule and see if it makes falling asleep any easier.
So many of us spend the hour or so before bed doom scrolling on our phones, which of course leads to anxiety and stress. Instead of creating more anxiety for yourself, start implementing a bedtime routine in your schedule. Maybe take a nice relaxing bath and then curl up in bed with a good book or drink a cup of tea and watch an episode of your favorite comfort show.
Something that has really worked for me when I’m struggling to quiet my brain is to work on a crossword puzzle. This may sound silly, but it really works. It helps me to focus on something else and takes my mind to a new place.
I often find that once I’ve completed the crossword puzzle (or given up because it’s too hard), I feel a lot calmer. Along with crossword puzzles, I’ve also worked on sudoku puzzles or real puzzles, which have helped to relax my mind.
The best way to quiet your mind is to sit on the floor, close your eyes, and breathe. Yes, it’s going to be hard to stop your brain from thinking at first. But, with practice, you’ll notice the voices in your head getting quieter and quieter.
I started meditating about six months ago and it’s completely changed my life. Now, when I feel myself starting to spiral, I take five minutes to close my eyes and focus on my breathing. It calms my mind and relaxes my body. Trust me, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!