Hey, it’s Devin, your coaching guide to a peaceful night’s rest. And today, we’re going to talk about how to train your brain to fall and stay asleep for life.
So, one of the most frequently asked questions I get in seminars or workshops, or from clients or perspective clients, is “I have a racing mind. My mind just doesn’t seem to shut off. And it keeps me up at night. What do I do?”
In this training, I’m going to share with you some recommendations to help understand why that happens, and help you better manage a racing mind. And really understand how to retrain your brain, re-pattern your brain, to be able to then get and stay asleep.
So, let’s start with things to start doing, and then we’ll talk about things to stop doing. So, first and foremost, intentionally slowing down. When we have a racing mind, usually it’s a result of us going too fast, thinking too fast, doing too much.
And so, what I find to be very helpful is intentionally slow down. Whenever you feel like your mind is starting to rev up or race, you want to intentionally slow down whatever you’re doing. Literally, do it slower.
If you’re walking, walk slower. If you’re thinking, start to breathe, and start to just notice your surroundings, and just start to slow down. Because a racing mind or an anxious mind speeds up. Your heart speeds up, your mind speeds up, your physiology speeds up. You’re under threat.
So, if you can intentionally notice that you’re speeding up, and then take a couple deep breaths and begin to slow down and move a little bit slower, and breathe while you’re doing that, it’s extremely helpful for training the brain to turn the volume down.
Number two, create the space. This is another really important thing that people just overlook. If you go throughout your day, back to back to back, from meeting to meeting, or from task to task without any space … Your mind, at the end of the day, is going to be in what’s called a mind rev.
You’re thinking about all the things you could have done differently, should have done, or may need to still do. And that creates this racing mind; that creates a hyper-aroused brain.
So, if you can even just practice a couple minutes transition between your tasks throughout your day, or your meetings, or coming home from work, or coming from your office into the rest of your home, for those of you that work at home … makes a huge difference.
Create space. This is very challenging to do in the fast-paced world we live in. But it allows the mind to simmer down. Just like a computer, if you have too many browser windows open, starts to overheat. It starts to slow down. And then eventually, sometimes it just freezes altogether.
Our brain is kind of like a computer. And this can happen when we don’t create space, close out some of those browser windows, and allow the body to simmer down, to just go to sleep for a second.
And when I say go to sleep for a second, just like a computer. Maybe you put a computer to sleep for a couple minutes, or reboot it. We need to do that with our brain, as well.
Practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is one of the most powerful practices to calm a racing mind. Why? Because you become aware of the space between your thoughts. And it takes practice. And it does take consistent practice.
But I can promise you, if you’re someone who has a racing mind and that racing mind either prevents you from falling asleep, or wakes you up in the middle of the night and prevents you from falling back asleep, then a mindfulness practice, a daily mindfulness practice, even just 10 minutes a day, is life changing, if you consistently implement it, but does take a commitment.
Creating a bed buffer. What we often do is take our day into our night. And there needs to be a clean break between your day and your night. If you bring your day into the night, yeah, you’re going to have a hard time either falling asleep or staying asleep.
So, if you can create a buffer between your day and your night … Again, create space, especially from that transition from working, doing, to relaxing and resting, it will make a huge difference in the ability for your mind to start to slow down, so that your body can do what it’s designed to do, which is sleep.
Getting your thoughts on paper. This is another really helpful technique or tool that, over the years, clients have said has helped them a lot. So literally, why this works is because it slows you down. Because your mind goes a lot faster than your hand can write.
But by writing out your thoughts, it literally starts to get those thoughts out of your mind, on the paper, and it slows you down.
Getting in nature is another amazing strategy. Oftentimes, we get so connected to our devices, our smartphones, the technology, the social media … which speeds us up. We’re consuming all these things all day.
When we get in nature again, it creates space. It connects us to where we came from. And if you take your shoes off and you put your feet on the ground, that’s even better. Because you’re getting connected to the electromagnetic frequency of the earth.
Sounds hippy-dippy-ish, but there’s actually real science around that, that it actually can ground you, it can calm you, it can create a sense of ease and peace. As well as, if you’re in nature, you’re breathing in tree scents, and flowers, and things like that. And those types of senses from nature actually have a calming effect on our physiology.
So, things to stop doing if you have a busy racing mind that’s keeping you up. Number one, cut out stimulants. Coffee, cigarettes, pre-workouts, anything that has caffeine, anything that has something in it that is an upper.
If you have a racing mind, that’s like dumping gasoline on top of a fire. So, cut out the stimulants. That’s going to allow your body to get back into that parasympathetic. It’s going to be able to allow your body to relax, instead of fueling it up with any type of stimulant that’s going to rev you up.
And then, limit in technology. We talked a little bit about this. But technology, especially today with social media, with Instagram, with TikTok, with Facebook, with YouTube, with Netflix … All these different technology platforms are actually training our brains to go faster and to consume more. And actually are training our brains to be addictive, and to not have the ability to focus or concentrate.
And there is an incredible documentary called The Social Dilemma on Netflix, ironically, that explains how dangerous technology actually is, and what it’s doing to our brains. And I highly recommend that everyone takes the time to watch that documentary.
To understand how to have a better relationship with technology, so that you can not have your brain be conditioned to have a short attention span, ADA, ADHD, racing mind … on top of maybe the racing mind that you already have without the use of this.
So listen, if you have any questions, put them in the comments. If you’re new here, welcome, subscribe. If you like the video, Like it. If you know someone that needs to hear this message, please share this with them. And again, put your comments below. I’m more than happy to answer them.
And yes, take action on some of what I shared. Nothing changes until you decide it’s time to change it and actually put action behind the knowledge that you have. All right. Talk to you soon.