How To Be Happy Before Bed When All You Can Think About Is How Stressed Out You Are
Waking up on the right side of the bed is challenging when responsibilities of the day ahead are clouding your thoughts, but some might argue that going to sleep feeling 100 percent satisfied is also a struggle. So, if you’re stuck contemplating how to be happy before bed, you have some options. However, if by nightfall you’re still holding a grudge about your co-worker’s slip-up or a classmate’s reluctance to finish her portion of a group assignment, it’s going to take a little work to quiet all that internal chatter.
Granted, no one really wants to put in the work when they’re winding down before bed. Resting easy should be a natural occurrence, not a formulaic equation, especially since this is the time you can revel in the fact that what might have been a terrible day is over and done with.
Maybe you have trouble accepting that what’s done is done, and your brain likes to take advantage of the time before you snooze to review a million different scenarios that could have altered the day’s events had you approached a situation differently. If you’re a workaholic, chances are you’re burying yourself in assignments that weigh you down, or maybe your class schedule just sucks and you harp on the fact that you just cannot deal with this professor or that term paper tomorrow. I’m just going to quote my girl Elsa here and suggest you do your best to let it go, let it go.
Say what you will, but I fully believe in the domino effect, and that what you put out into the universe, you’ll receive right back. Having said that, it’s really important that you figure out ways you can be happy before bed so you can enjoy a good night’s sleep, and wake up feeling ready to take on whatever lies ahead. Here are a few ways to make it a reality.
1. Forget The Negative And Focus On The Positive
Even on your worst day, there's always something that went your way, even if it was something small.
Maybe you just really enjoyed that iced vanilla latte you picked up on your way into the office, or perhaps you walked out of class unscathed by a pop quiz. Even if it feels like you're pulling teeth to identify a few positive details, just remember that it's always the little things that add up the most in the long run.
Elyse Fox, a New York-based filmmaker, mental health activist, and Produced By Girls editor, tells Elite Daily that every night before bed, she writes down and reflects on positive moments that happened throughout the day. She explains,
I choose 10, because even during the worst days, you can easily choose three or five positive experiences. Choosing 10 challenges you to appreciate the small moments in life.
Maybe you saw a really cute elderly couple who made you smile, or a cute dog. On nights you're feeling down, you know there's a physical guide to reflect on. At the end of the year, you'll have a journal of [thousands of] positive moments, small and large!
2. Resist The Urge To Watch Netflix
I apologize in advance if this suggestion hits a little too close to home, but bedtime is not synonymous with TV time, nor is it an invitation to scroll through social media until your eyes are so bloodshot you're all but forced to close them.
Instead of clinging to screens for entertainment, millennial life coach Jess Hopkins suggests you take on a temporary tech hiatus hours before bed. She tells Elite Daily,
Research shows that unhappy people watched significantly more television in their spare time. Conversely, happy people are more socially active, attended more religious services, and read more.
To feel happier after a long day, make a dinner date with a friend, dust off the book you’ve been meaning to read, or attend a local community event.
3. Stop Sipping Liquids An Hour Before Bed
I'm totally guilty of chugging a glass of water before hopping into bed only to then get begrudgingly aggravated at myself when I wake up at 3 a.m. with the dire need to pee.
Just like how you shouldn't eat an hour or so before you swim on the off chance you might get a stomach ache, Heather Monahan, a mentor, speaker, and women's empowerment and business expert, tells Elite Daily you should probably lay off liquids an hour or so before bed to ensure you don't wake up in the middle of the night feeling unsettled.
4. Kill The Lights
There's a reason you cover your eyes at the first sign of light in the morning. Bright rays make falling and staying asleep super difficult, which is why Monahan tells Elite Daily one of the best ways to make yourself happy before bed is to set the mood.
"A bright clock or some other light ... can be disrupting our need for darkness at bedtime," she explains. "So it's important to start turning the lights down and limiting the amount of time you're staring into a screen ahead of getting into bed."
5. Make A List Of Minor Accomplishments
It really is the little things in life that add up, friends. When you're feeling especially hard on yourself for not reaching your big-picture goals, focus on the slightly smaller accomplishments you've made throughout the day. After all, it's the baby steps that are helping you achieve your long-term goals.
Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of relationship blog You're Just A Dumbass, tells Elite Daily she performed a Happiness Hypothesis study, in which 60 percent of participants experienced low self-esteem in response to skimming through social media. So rather than reaching for your cell phone before bed, Silva suggests trying "cognitive re-shifting exercises" like journaling instead.
"Documenting your micro goals helps you see how you’re contributing to your macro goals and can help restore positive levels of self-esteem," Silva tells Elite Daily. "In this way, your dream state can incorporate your life’s dreams rather than anxiety about what you haven’t accomplished yet."
6. Get Physical
What better way to spark endorphins than by sneaking in a little physical activity with your partner before bed? Whether it's just kissing, a little foreplay, or full-blown sexy time, do your thang and simply enjoy.
Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC tells Elite Daily that being physically intimate with your loved one actually stimulates the brain to produce "vasopressin and oxytocin," aka attachment hormones. Getting busy in bed before you snooze will also cause a rush of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter "that will help you feel relaxed and more attached to your loved one."
Sweet dreams and sex? Total win.