Sadly, stress is part of life. At some point, everyone experiences stress. Physical, emotional and other types of stress take their toll on our minds and bodies. That’s one of the reasons sleep is so important. Sleep is can help us manage our stress.
Our bodies use sleep to restore and recover. While we sleep our bodies carry out important restorative functions. Our brains rid themselves of toxins and sort out the events that happened throughout the day. Our bodies repair and restore themselves as well. It’s pretty amazing how much our minds and bodies remain active even when we are sleeping.
Stress affects the mind and body
Stress takes its toll on both our mind and our body. Stress causes the release of cortisol, a powerful hormone that triggers the fight or flight response in our bodies. This hormone can cause overwhelming sensations in the body, raise blood pressure, and cause anxious feelings. Restful sleep helps reduce the levels of cortisol and balance the chemistry in the brain and body. Chronic stress without restful sleep can raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Stress affects our mood
Stress affects our mood. When we are stressed, we tend to over or under-react. This can lead to an onslaught of problems. Living in a heightened sense of worry or anxiety can result in eating too much or too little, emotional outbursts or withdrawal, or a wide range of other behaviors. After a long day of stress, the best thing to regulate mood swings is a restful night’s sleep.
Stress affects our relationships
Stress can change how we engage with other people. Being worried, anxious, or overwhelmed makes it harder to be focused and engage positively with other people. From co-workers to family, stress can damage relationships if we aren’t careful. Being able to unplug from people and take some time for yourself can help. Sleeping provides a significant amount of time to recharge and get ready to face the world again. Even the act of relaxing in bed prior to sleeping can aid in rebuilding your energy and make it easier to get along with others.
Sleep is a remedy for stress
Sleep is a wonderful remedy for a stressful day. Relaxing in the comfort of your bed and letting go of the worries of the world can give you new perspective, renew your spirit and energy. Sleep can be the escape you need from the pressures going on and give you the uninterrupted time to recover. Making sleep a priority, including naps when necessary, can help your mind and body recover from stress and manage difficult situations easier.
Use Journaling to Relieve Stress at Bedtime
Stress comes from everywhere. Worries abound in all areas of life. Fretting about work, family, and obligations can become overwhelming. Running everything through your mind without an outlet for stress can make it hard to sleep. When you need to rest, your mind gets hyper focused on stressful things making it hard to fall asleep. During the day it can be easy to push worries down and think about other things but it’s much harder to distract ourselves when we are lying in bed trying to end our day.
There are a lot of ways to relieve stress and rid our minds of worries, one of the most effective is journaling. Journaling works because it
- Focuses your thoughts
- Is a creative outlet
- Gets thoughts out of your head
- Creates an opportunity for problem solving
Journaling before bed can help reduce stress and make it easier to fall asleep. Here’s why-
Journaling helps you get a handle on your thoughts- Journaling helps you focus your thoughts and get them out on paper. Instead of ruminating on the issues and stressing, journaling helps organize thoughts and process them. It makes it easier to better understand the roots of your stress and focus your thoughts rather than continuously running them over in your mind.
Journaling uses a different part of the brain- The act of writing and journaling uses the creative side or your brain. This can help ease stress. Depending on the type of journaling you do it may help raise the dopamine in your brain chemistry reducing stress. Journaling doesn’t have to be limited to writing. It can be as creative as you’d like including, but not limited to, coloring, doodling, writing poetry, or any other form of expression.
Journaling removes thoughts from your head- Writing things down tricks your brain into dumping them and leaving them on the page. Journaling can help get thoughts out of your head so your mind can wander on to something else. Psychologically, your brain believes that the thoughts are categorized on the page and don’t need as much intense focus anymore so your mind can begin to relax.
Journaling triggers problem solving- In the same way clearing your mind in the shower leads to epiphanies, journaling can trigger problem solving. Worrying about stress in your mind clutters it with negative thoughts and anxiety. The process of journaling triggers our natural problem-solving skills and makes it easier to find solutions.
Journaling before bed can help rid your mind of stress and leave your psyche feeling calm. This can help your mind shut down easily and drift into REM sleep where the mind and body can repair and heal. Practice journaling before bedtime to help your mind release the worries of the day and prepare for a great night’s rest.
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Did you add a few more habits of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.