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Seven Steps to Stop Overthinking And Get Off to Sleep

Whether you are lying in bed at night, not able to get off to sleep, or wake up worrying about something that’s been and gone, or hasn’t happened yet, overthinking is exhausting.

Almost everyone goes through times when they cannot stop the incessant flow of thoughts streaming in day and night. 

It’s rarely about that wonderful holiday you had the other year, your boss’s smile and thanking you for a job well done, nor is it often about the last good evening you had with friends and family.   

It’s all about your what has gone wrong, problems, shortcomings and mistakes and how other people are causing you pain. Have you noticed that you are not generally focused on playing through possible solutions?  It more about;

What if… If only… How dare they… I should never have ….

I had better … But that won’t work….  What can I do? …

I can’t… I am so stupid…  I am no good at …. And so on …

It is stressful and stops you sleeping.

After a while the event you worried about slips slowly into the past.  But what can you if it doesn’t or to if you want to speed the healing process up?  Being in your head makes you grumpy, miserable, gets in the way of almost everything you try and do, and can eventually even make you sick.  The Journal of Abnormal Psychology reported a 2003 study that found dwelling or ruminating on these sorts of thoughts increases your risk of mental health problems and can damage your health.  It is also addictive – the more you do it the harder it is to stop.

Use the steps below as a seven-day challenge to quieten your mind and improve your sleep.   Remember to use The Pink Light Technique daily.

 

Day 1   Learn The Pink Light Technique.  Practice this for healing meditation technique for 5-10 minutes once a day to heal the relationships at the root of your overthinking and stress.  You don’t need to believe it will work.  Just try it and notice the difference after a few weeks and then months. There is a free PDF download in our HelpMeSleep Shop or you can watch a video at https://pinklightlove.org/en/

Pink Light Technique

  1. Close your eyes and get yourself in a loving space. – Remember a time when you felt loved.
  2. In your mind’s eye, picture pink loving light radiating out from your heart and surrounding you in a pink light bubble.
  3. Now bring to mind a loving or neutral image of yourself. Bring that image in front of the pink light bubble surrounding you and picture yourself covering the image with pink light. When the image is covered, let it go.
  4. Next, bring in a loving image of each member of your immediate family – mother, father, siblings, children, etc (even if deceased). Cover each person in a ball of pink light, then let them go and move on to the next person.
  5. Bring in an image of anyone who you have an emotional charge or discomfort with. Cover them with pink light and let them go.
  6. Allow anyone else to appear, cover them with the pink light and let them go.
  7. If no one else is showing up naturally, or you have been doing the technique for about five minutes, then just cover the image of yourself again and gently come to an end and open your eyes.

If you can’t visualise pink light don’t worry – just have the intention of doing so.  If you find it hard to conjure a loving image of a person, just picture them in front of you. If you cannot do that, then picture them standing far away from you or facing away from you.When you’re doing this exercise, cover anyone who appears in pink light – don’t push them away.  There is no need to judge if they deserve it on not.   This is about healing your stress. Once they’re done, assume they’re done for the day and don’t need to be done again.

Day 2  – Just watch – Notice whenever you have been stuck in stressful thinking, take a moment to check in with your body – you will find that your body is similarly stressed and tense.  Take a few deep breaths.  Recognise that you are overthinking and forgive yourself for it. 

Day 3 – Alternate Nostril Breathing. Each time you notice yourself overthinking, use the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique to reset and calm your body.  It will just take a minute or two as you only do it for 15 breaths.   Alternate Nostril Breathing or Nadi Shodhana is an ancient, simple, powerful technique to reset your nervous system, de-stress and relax.   It’s a great way to hit the reset button and just needs a few minutes to practise to calm the mind, bring us back into balance, improve focus and de-stress.   There are detailed instructions for Alternate Nostril Breathing on YouTube and other websites.  I particularly like this one by Deepak Chopra.

You use your thumb and index fingers on your right hand to gently close your nostrils – first left then right. 

  1. With your thumb close your right nostril
  2. Breath in and then out through your left nostril
  3. Then switch
  4. Close your left nostril with your index finger
  5. Breathe in and out through your right nostril

Just do this breathing technique twelve or fifteen times to start.  You can do this sitting or lying down. 

Day 4 – Check your posture – Notice if you have a special posture you go into when you are worrying or overthinking – often it’s head down and looking to the side.  So, change that.  Look up, look around you, walk around and look at everything around you and smile. 

Day 5 Sing it  – Put the issue into a song and singing out loud.  It could be a pop tune or the Halleluiah Chorus – it does not matter. Imagine you are standing at a window bellowing it out of your life!  Do this at twice every day – you can do it silently if necessary – but move your mouth and breathe as though you are singing at the top of your voice.  Singing helps switch on your sympathetic nervous system.

Day 6 –  Stop talking about it Make a conscious decision to stop talking about it. Focus on this moment and stop talking about the issue. 

Day 7  – Pick any solution and go with it Understand that perfect solutions do not exist.  If you have options, then today pick one and go with it.  Toss a coin.  See what happens in a week or a month.

Other techniques will be posted in the coming months. 

If you would like more information or want to improve your sleep and energy, then call Sue on 07792 447331 and book your free initial telephone consultation.

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HelpMeSleep! is a sleep consultation and treatment programme designed by Sue Gray a certified coach, therapist and member of the British Sleep Society.

HelpMeSleep! Is based on natural, long term solutions that don’t rely on “quick fix” pills or drugs.  It’s based on proven techniques and simple “non-jargon” guidance from trained sleep coaches.

Help Me Sleep! Is designed to address all of the issues that are impacting on your sleep, with training and solutions to make them a thing of the past.