Sleep, Thoughts, Worries and Fears
By Remez Sasson
Do you fall asleep immediately after entering bed, or do thoughts and worries flow into your mind, keeping your sleep away? Do you find it hard to ignore them?
While lying in bed at night, it is quiet and dark, there are fewer outside distractions, and therefore you are more aware of the movements of your mind. You feel that thoughts are attacking you, not giving you a moment's rest, especially if you are experiencing some problems in your life.
If you are not healthy you will probably think about your health. If you have problems at work, then thoughts about these problems will probably flood your mind. A child will have thoughts about his parents, teachers or examinations, and a businessman about his work. Thoughts, worries and fears that are usually repressed during the day surface up and swarm the mind.
What would be willing to do to free yourself from these nibbling, restless thoughts that prevent you from falling asleep? Won't you be happy to be able to silence all the thoughts that pop up when you are in bed?
If you fight these thoughts and try to stop them forcefully, they will grow stronger, because you will be giving them more attention. If you want to get rid of a tree growing in your garden and cut it down, it will grow again quite fast, but if you stop irrigating the tree, it will gradually wither. You need to treat your thoughts in the same manner. In order to reduce their quantity and strength, you have to ignore them, which is equivalent to not watering the tree.
How can you ignore these nagging thoughts that go with you to bed? Here are a few tips to help you:
1. Go to bed at a reasonable hour, not too early and not too late.
2. Lie down on your bed and relax your body.
3. For 2-3 minutes pay attention to every muscle in your body from head to toe. If you find any tense muscle, relax it.
4. For about one minute, let thoughts come freely into your mind.
5. Watch these thoughts, as they come and go.
6. Tell your mind that if it has any important thoughts that require attention, you are willing to discuss them tomorrow.
7. If one of the thoughts is too persistent, write it down so that you can remember to think about it the next day.
8. Now try to look at the thoughts with lack of interest. Lack of interest is the magic word when it comes to controlling and silencing thoughts. Do not let your feelings to be aroused and manipulated by your thoughts.
If thoughts still come, and they probably will, it is all right. Don't fight them, but just try to ignore them by losing any interest in them. An ignored thought, ultimately goes away. Don't worry if you fail at first. Keep on trying, and the situation will improve.
9. Watch the thoughts that enter your mind, as if watching a boring movie and they will lose their power.
10. There is another thing that you can do, and that is to practice meditation every day.
After practicing meditation for some time, it will affect your sleep. As a by-product of meditation, your mind will get accustomed to being relaxed and at peace, and when you go to sleep, it will be much easier to ignore persistent and disturbing thoughts. In fact, you might fall asleep immediately upon switching off the light.