Recently I’ve found it a lot easier to feel Zen and relaxed. I didn’t think that it would be noticeable but a lot of people have actually commented on how much more at ease I’ve been. There has been speculation as to what has made me this way; a new crush, I’ve been having sex, I’ve fallen in love.
I’ve told them that I have no idea why I feel this way but that was a lie. I know exactly what it is that has made me feel so much better.
It happened at the end of January. I had arrived back to college, I was halfway through writing “Who Cares” and I had many other things to think about. I spent my days radiating positivity. I would stroll around, treating myself with love and positive thinking. This was working fine for me and I was quite happy. But there was always a tiny little part of me that was slightly on edge. I could never quite put my finger on a reason for this. Until one night, I decided to try something on a whim and I was shocked to discover that it worked.
Every night, I would go to bed and wait to fall asleep, and as it often does, my mind would begin to wander. The foolish thing is that I was letting it. I wouldn’t exactly think negatively, but I was no longer keeping track of my thoughts. I wouldn’t be thinking positively and I’d let 300 thoughts run through my brain in one minute. During the day I don’t really allow myself to overthink, not because I’m a control freak but because it doesn’t help me to think about unnecessary things. However, I was not doing this in the time it took me to fall asleep and that was a problem.
Because this is the time that I should be relaxed and preparing myself for the following day. This is the time when I should be thinking back over everything I’ve achieved and getting excited about what’s to come. This is the time that I should spend recognising how lucky I am to be in a cosy bed, with a wild life. I should not be spending this crucial time worrying about stuff that I have to do. Or thinking over embarrassing things that have happened to me. Or wondering how I’m going to have enough money to get through the week.
I’d let my thoughts go on autopilot and that was idiotic. I’ve always known that there is never any merit in thinking negatively, but I thought that it would take a lot of concentration to control my thoughts as I was drifting off. This was false. It does not take any effort and the benefits are worth it 1000 times over.
So today I give you a challenge. Before you fall asleep, keep an eye on your thought processes. When you begin to worry or feel shame, just gently steer your mind back to positive things. Think about how you and your friends spent ten minutes uncontrollably laughing that day. Or how you got complimented on your outfit. Think about the time you did something that you were really proud of. Or just think about how cosy you currently are.
You may feel foolish forcing yourself to think good things but why wouldn’t you? What is the point of worrying before you fall asleep? What is the point of thinking about all of the stuff that you have to do when you’re in bed doing nothing? What is the point of beating yourself up over stupid things when you’re trying to sleep?
I can promise that you’ll wake up feeling very ready for the day ahead. Getting up will seem a lot easier and you’ll just feel serene as you go about your day-to-day activities. I understand (kind of) that certain people just have to worry about things. I understand that people can’t help feeling anxious or sad. I’m just asking you to pick your time to do all of this. And before you fall asleep should not be this time. Do I sound naive, patronising, infuriating? I know that it’s easier said than done. But what’s a challenge if it’s not challenging?
Watch my video about Blocking Out Negativity below:
Read my essay about people’s opinions here.