With the increased awareness of mental health and being introspective to live our life to the fullest, bedtime journaling has exploded in popularity as a pre-sleep activity – and for all the right reasons.
Many studies have found that bedtime journaling helps reduce overthinking and feelings of frustration by organizing our thoughts and looking at them from a different perspective. This helps us slow down and relax, which translates to better sleep quality. Ultimately, a good night’s rest powers us through work and play, and in our relationships with loved ones!
So how can we start bedtime journaling?
1. Get a paper journal!
Some of us may prefer typing things down, and that’s fine for daytime journaling. But when you’re preparing yourself for sleep, it’s best to stay away from electronics (lest the work notifications come in the wee hours and throws you off).
2. Create an inspiring environment.
Sometimes, the last thing we want to do at night is to journal. Don’t get us wrong, it’s entirely ok to not journal every night! But for the days where you’re weighed down by anxieties, you may still want to take 15 minutes to write them down.
You can create an inspiring environment by playing chill ambient music (Lo-Fi, classical, or instrumental piano), sit somewhere comfortable (and away from electronic devices), light your favourite scented candle and prepare a cup of soothing chamomile tea.
3. Write down those worries.
This seems simpler than it looks, but you will realize that our frustrations are not as easy to pen down or organize although they may have been living rent-free in our head for the longest time. Still, attempt to write them down so that you can clear your mind and look at your problems from a different perspective. Some guiding questions to help you reflect on them are:
- What about this experience is bothering you?
- How have you reacted to this negative experience, and why?
- How can you move on and let go?
4. Set your intentions for the next day, or the week ahead!
After listing down your problems, we want to look ahead and move on! Anchor yourself into the present and think about what you can do and what you want to achieve over the next few days. It can be as simple as waking up earlier to meditate for 20 minutes every morning!
5. Be thankful! Always end off with a gratitude list.
Being thankful encourages positivity and helps you appreciate the joys that are already present in your life. Some questions to help you get started: - Name 3 things you are thankful for today, and why. (It can be something very innocent, like not missing the bus!) - What did you learn from your challenges? - Who are you grateful for today?
We hope that this article has helped to open up your heart and mind towards journaling and its benefits! Remember, journaling is not a feat to be achieved, but a practice of mindfulness to help you feel better in the day or before bed! Sweet dreams!