When I get in bed, my brain thinks it's fiesta time.
Without even asking permission, it starts obsessing over what I said to someone, how this other person may have perceived me, how long I'm going to be stuck in this job and whether or not the pizza guy thought my tone was a tad bit rude when really, I was just in a rush.
My mind goes into overdrive, analyzing the most minuscule things and making me feel completely anxious.
A few days ago, I realized I had to figure out why I was worrying so much about everything.
Although it is incredibly important to be considerate of other individuals and their needs, you shouldn't be stressing about them at 12 am when you're trying to get some Zs.
In my case, I found I was having trouble sleeping because I was worried about things that had already happened as well as the potential things that could happen in my future.
So, I began to question what drove my incessant need for control.
Why was I letting something that doesn't even exist disrupt my mood? Why was I driving myself crazy trying to figure out and control the things I couldn't?
When something bad would happen, I'd immediately retreat into my mind or break down.
It got me thinking, why can't we open up instead of shutting down when we get into arguments and fights?
Could it not be an exciting opportunity to connect and communicate on a deeper level with the person we are fighting with?
I don't know about you guys, but I don't want to waste another minute of this precious life being angry, sad (Lord, knows I'm good at that), bitter or afraid.
Yes, we are human, and how the world perceives us matters. We all have our own fears and insecurities, but we cannot let ideas that play out in our imagination to take over our lives.
So, if you're having trouble falling asleep, take notice of the things that make you feel insecure or cast fear in your heart. Take a real good look at them, bring them up to the surface and try to figure out ways to work through them.
If we actively find ways to deal with the issues that consume our mind, when it's time to put our bodies to rest, we will be able to do just that.
I've also found that meditation helps me create space between the thoughts that enter my mind. The more I make time to meditate, the easier it is to allow my thoughts to come and go without a need to obsess or worry.
Through meditation, you learn not to identify with your thoughts.
If we learn to treat our experiences and emotions in this manner, we will not need to label and categorize them as good or bad.
Experiences and feelings are what they are. They come into our consciousness, but just as they come, they will pass right on through.
We do not have to give so much importance to every little thing that happens to us.
We are living in very tumultuous times, and instead of putting focus on things we can't control, it's important we use our voice and brainpower in ways that can enrich our lives and benefit society as a whole.
Trust me when I say, I don't know how successful I will be at smiling the next time I get the, “it's not you, it's me” speech.
What I do know is, I am going to try like hell to break every lasting condition that entraps me and to not let something irrelevant screw up my present state.
I choose to boldly show up for my life and to walk right up to the very things that scare me.
Feel free to take the stand for yourself. I hope you do, too.
We are only a month into the new year, and we owe it to ourselves to clear out our minds so we can get the sleep we so desperately need.
When we are well-rested and operating with healthy minds, we can kick ass and make positive, meaningful changes in our lives and the lives of others.