When you cannot sleep. The art of acceptance.

There comes the time when you cannot sleep. You toss and turn on your bed. You listen to podcasts to fall asleep, watch a movie, open the window to let some fresh air in. But it all doesn’t work.

Then, you look at your phone next to your bed – it’s 2 a.m. You think: “Gosh, I really need to get some sleep as I have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to go to work”. The thing is the more you stress, the less chances you have for a good sleep. Sounds familiar?

WHY WE CANNOT SLEEP?

Let me tell you a story.

Dora was a successful 35-year old woman. She had a steady job, was renting a nice apartment in the city center and was a beautiful woman. Many would kill for either her looks or her intelligence. Actually, they could kill for both. So, what’s the problem you might ask?

One night (and she was usually falling asleep at 10:00 p.m. max) she started to think about her life. Was she really happy? Was the job her dream job? Were the people she was giving her precious time and energy worth it? Why didn’t she yet have a partner or a successful relationship that she so much dreamt about?

Suddenly her brain became hyper-active with all those questions. Her heart was beating faster and faster and her body became hot like in a state of  fever. The thoughts in her head started dancing in a crazy way, just like the skeletons at the Halloween party she attended the night before.

Tired of tossing and turning she got up. It was 2:15 a.m. She washed the pile of the dishes after yesterday’s dinner, cleaned the fridge, went down to take the rubbish out and then cooked lunch for the next day. At 5:00 a.m. she tried again to fall asleep. Then, unlucky again she said to herself:

Okay Dora, you cannot fall asleep. Accept it. Read a book instead. Accept your emotions. Accept that you don’t like your job. Accept that you can choose not to work. Contrary to all women in your family. But it’s your life, Dora, and even if you go unemployed and betray the pattern of how women in your family behaved, you can act differently. Because it’s your life. You decide. You are the queen on your courtyard called Life. You can be faithful to no one else, but yourself“.

On the example of Dora you see what prevents us from having a good sleep:

  • thoughts circling in our heads
  • imagining scenarios, especially the bad ones
  • fears and emotions that we usually lock in our bodies and in our subconsciouss mind

 WHAT TO DO TO SLEEP BETTER?

  1. Accept your day. All the problems, emotions it triggered in you and it brought you.
  2. When you’re in bed try not to think. Limit the number of your thoughts, especially the negative ones.
  3. Imagine only the good things happening to you. Let your mind fly. Think about your biggest dreams and create a beautiful movie in your head with you as the hero of the movie.
  4. Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down what causes you the biggest stress. Then, write how you can accept it and what you can do about it.

Example:

STRESS – “My biggest stress is my job, which I don’t like. I’d gladly quit, but then I’ll have no money.”

ACCEPTANCE – “I accept that I don’t feel happy in my job. I accept all these negative emotions. I accept I chose my past jobs and I choose my future ones. I accept I am in charge of my life”.

SOLUTION – “What can I do if the fact that I don’t like my job causes me stress?”

  1. Go to work and in the meantime search for a one that would be my dream job.
  2. Quit and then create a plan of what I really want to do.
  3. Find after-work activities that will help you to calm down, relax and balance your work life.
  4. Your own solution different to the above 😉

Stressing would do you no good. While you stand in front of the mirror, preparing for work, tell yourself: “It’s just a job. I can change it because I am responsible for my life. And being responsible for your life is freedom!”.

Let me finish this article with a quote by Leonardo da Vinci:

“A well spent day brings happy sleep”.

Wishing you well-spent days ahead!

Plantation of Creativity Team

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