How to Turn Off Your Brain at Night
I like to think of racing thoughts in the brain as a toddler that is demanding attention. If you have ever tried to place a phone call around a toddler, you can imagine how hard it is to ignore a toddler that is trying to get your attention.
The way to soothe this immature, tantruming part of your brain is to give it attention first, not when you need it to settle.
A simple way to do this is to spend ten minutes each evening after dinner, but well before bed, and write down any thoughts that are in your head. It doesn’t need to be formal like “dear diary” but rather bullets of all the thoughts that appear. If some of the thoughts are stressors it can also be good to write some possible solutions.
When your brain starts to chatter at you at night, remind it that you have already listened and you will listen again the next night. You can even try to be amused by the thoughts that your brain uses to agitate you. Once your brain trusts that there will be a time when you listen the pressure of the thoughts will back off.
Lastly, try not to be distressed by the awakenings because the distress itself often reinforces them.
Check out more videos in our Psych in 60 series and leave us your questions in the comment section below!