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5 Bad Habits Of Insomniacs, And How To Change Them

5 Bad Habits Of Insomniacs, And How To Change Them

When you just can’t get to sleep it can be tempting to fill your awake time with distractions- many of which are likely to keep you awake even longer. Often the most helpful things to do are not things you actually feel like doing! Your automatic habits are probably going to make you feel wired, stressed and make it even harder for you to unwind and drift off to sleep.

Here’s 5 bad habits that all insomniacs try at some point, why they’re not a good idea, and what to try instead:

1) Playing games on your phone

First, staring at a bright screen is unlikely to send anyone to sleep, but really, most games these days are designed to hook you in and get you to keep playing. It becomes harder and harder to pull yourself away, even when you do begin to actually feel tired.

If you’re a game addict and you’re thinking of playing for a bit when you’re struggling to sleep, try giving yourself a time-limit. Play until your time is up and then try to sleep again.

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2) Scrolling through newsfeeds

Scrolling through Facebook, Instragram, Twitter or Pinterest might seem like a good idea to help you get to sleep but, like with playing games, this is actually more likely to keep you awake. All it takes is for you to click on one alluring hashtag and you’ll get whisked down a rabbit-hole scrolling through endless pretty pictures and interesting stories.

We’ve all been there.

As already mentioned, bright screens are not conducive to a natural sleep state. If you’re looking for a way to get a bit of external stimulation that will help you wind down, try reading a book- preferably the paper kind.

3) Thinking about things that you can’t change

Stressing and worrying about things which have already happened or about situations or circumstances that you can’t change is a wasted use of energy. You’re just causing yourself to suffer unnecessarily.

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You’re lying in bed, waiting to sleep, and then you get sucked into the trap of thinking about things that you have no power to change. You analyse everything; you over-think all the scenarios from the week prior that you wish had gone differently, playing out your preferred storylines and thinking of witty comebacks that completely eluded you at the time.

When you have no power to change a situation, the best thing that you can do is to accept it and make peace with it so that it no longer has the ability to stress you out.

4) Contacting people

Lying awake at night might seem like the perfect time to see what your ex is up to or to tell your bestie what you really think of her new love interest. Heed my advice: If you are thinking about saying something that you’re not one hundred percent sure of, then DON’T DO IT.

If you wouldn’t say it in the morning then don’t say it in the middle of the night.

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Sometimes insomnia is like being drunk. It strips back our inhibitions, boosts our confidence, and distorts our ability to adequately assess risks. Your friends are probably asleep. Don’t hassle them.

If you really feel like reaching out to someone, try this instead: write your message into a note-taking app but vow not to send it until the morning. Re-read it in the morning and send it then, only if it feels like the right thing to do after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

5) Dreaming of the future

It can be great fun to indulge in fantasies about the future, making plans for your dream house, travel destinations and career success. It’s easy to get carried away and let your fantasizing keep you awake all night.

The best way to pull yourself out of the future, and get yourself into a restful state is to use mindfulness to bring you into the present moment. Focus on your breath and observe your thoughts rather than being absorbed into them.

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Follow these tips and you’ll be asleep in no time!

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/timothykrause/ via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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