The morning started off great. My youngest son actually listened and didn’t throw any tantrums. I practically skipped to my meeting with a big smile on my face. I might have even whistled a little bit.
Then the day went all wonky on me.
My meeting got canceled.
I got an email that my client was terminating our contract.
My stomach started acting up.
I could feel my whole body going into shutdown mode. My inner bully thought this was great. He began to shout:
“You just aren’t good enough!”
“Ha! See you aren’t so bright after all!”
The day only got worse. My oldest son came home with a stomach bug. I could feel the stomach bug coming on myself, too. As the end of the day approached. I thought about giving up on my evening routine. It would be so much easier to just go to bed. My thoughts were interesting beasts. It’s like they didn’t want me to be happy.
I smiled at these thoughts and decided to observe how I was feeling.
My muscles in my upper back were tense. I did some neck stretches and lay on top of a lacrosse ball on the floor, rolling around on it to massage the tension in my upper back. I could feel the tension leaving my body.
Too often when a day goes sideways, we turn to a distraction instead of observing how we are feeling. We do this because we think observing our feelings will be uncomfortable. And it’s true—the first couple of minutes can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable, but the hours after are so much better.
If I didn’t take time to notice the tension in my body, I wouldn’t have taken a few minutes to release it. Knowing myself, I probably would have woken up with a headache.
Most modern cultures don’t encourage observing your thoughts and feelings. We have a checklist mentality. We mark one thing off and move on to the next. We don’t take time to observe how we are feeling after we finish a task. This is important because it helps us process and celebrate our hard work.
This should be a regular part of your day. If you take time to observe how you are feeling at the end of the night, you are building the habit for the next day. You might take just three seconds after sending an important message to your colleague and soak in the feeling. It’s this practice that helps bring awareness to your day and help you slow down so you can enjoy it just a bit more.
I want you to try the following technique before bed and see how it helps you. Before you go to bed, try asking yourself just one of the following questions and sitting with it for two minutes:
- Where is there tension in my body?
- Am I relaxed?
- How am I feeling right now?
- What experience am I holding on to?
- How can I be more present right now?
Which question do you think would help you the most?
These questions are just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much we don’t tune into if we don’t take the time to pay attention to how our bodies and minds are feeling. These feelings can hinder or help our sleep.
That’s why I encourage you to observe how you are feeling at the end of the day. It will help you slow down and relax at the end of the day, which will make it easier to fall asleep. A good night’s sleep can make a huge improvement to your health and happiness.
This is one of the techniques from the Sleep to SOAR method that helps you improve your mindset while you sleep. Check it out and learn how you can apply the other three techniques to your evening routine, so you can grow more resilient while you are snoozing through the night.
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