Monday, October 5, 2015

Dear Diary: 4 Things to Write About For a Better Night's Sleep

Have you ever read that book that drifted you off into a fantastical world too mesmerizing to escape each night? Or have you ever read an article that inspired you to march right out into the world and make changes?  What about reading an ad in a magazine that made you crack up so hard that you could barely breathe - have you ever read one of those?  Thus is the magic of writing.

Writing is a powerful tool used for a variety of purposes, from advertising to telling stories to offering instructions and tips.  There are so many things that writing can accomplish, which is what attracts it most to me.  It is a creative tool that can be manipulated to have any voice, any style, and any purpose that you wish.  Better yet, through writing you can make an incredible difference in someone's life, including your own.

While you don't have to be the next J.K. Rowling or Bronte sister, you can still use writing to help you reflect, recharge, and relax.  At the end of each night, use writing to carry your mood to a cozier place.  Let writing teach you something about yourself and your day; let writing make you go to sleep in bliss.  You don't need to write paragraphs upon paragraphs; who has time for writing a long thesis anyway?  Some of the most inspirational words are a mere sentence.    

Ending the night in a positive mindset is important for your mental and physical health.  By going to sleep feeling grateful and pleased, you can sleep peacefully, allowing yourself to wake up feeling rejuvenated. 

Writing in a journal is not just for preteen young girls who want to write about all the gossip revolving around their crushes (heck, there are expensive, leather-bound journals out there...I don't think those are meant for the tweeners).  Every night, I encourage you to think about your day and write. 

Of course, you can write about the happenings of the day and the negative moments that you can't get out of your mind (tip: when I can't sleep, I love to just ramble all these thoughts down on paper.  It is like venting to someone and clearing your mind without the fear of being judged!).  However, try to always finish your journal entry answering the following 4 questions.  By reflecting on and providing answers for these questions, you will have a more positive outlook on your day and about yourself.  Even if it may be hard to answer one or more of these questions, force yourself to come up with something.  Show yourself that there was something productive and wonderful about your day and about you.  No matter where your mindset was prior to answering these questions, you will pull out the best parts of your day, making yourself happier just by reflecting on the positive moments.

So every night, use these questions to inspire your writing, and let the power of your writing inspire you. 

1. What are you thankful for?
Being thankful is key to feeling happy.  In order to feel content with your life, you must realize all of the blessings that make your life possible.  Come up with something or someone in your life that brings you joy, that makes you smile, that lets you laugh or warms you.  You can be thankful for anything, really - your health; the way the wind blows the leaves on a crisp, fall day; your family and friends; the lady that complimented your dress; pizza.  You can be thankful for something that happened that day, or you can be thankful for something that you are lucky to have every day.  Just thinking about the blessings you have been given will help you realize how truly fortunate you are, and will help you to appreciate all you have. 

2. Who (or what) did you help today? 
We all live in a world together; this means that our actions have some impact, whether direct or indirect, on others.  In an ideal world, everyone would help each other out and consider the effect on others before doing anything, but unfortunately, we cannot direct the actions of others to impact in a positive way.  We can, however, control our own actions and be part of the positivity that exists in the world.  Every day, try to do something to help out another person or even the bigger world; make others and the bigger world around you the focus.  If every person concentrated on helping, I'm almost certain that more positivity would emerge in this world and more problems would be solved.  

At the end of the night, reflect on how you are contributing to a better world.  Did you hold the door for someone?  Did you help someone figure out a problem at work?  Did you start a campaign fighting to preserve the environment?  Did you pick up a pencil for someone?  No matter how small the action may seem, some sort of help is a step toward bettering life.  If you are having trouble thinking about ways that you gave help, use that as encouragement to really think about your actions the next day.  Go out and make a difference; be worthy to someone else. 

3. What is something new you learned?
You may not have to sit at a desk every day, listening to a person teach.  You may not have to carry around a bunch of materials from room to room.  You may not even have extra work to do after leaving work (actually...).  This may be the former teacher in me speaking, but guess what - you are still a student!  Knowledge is infinite; there are so many new ideas, news stories, concepts, and routines that are discovered every day and every second, making it impossible to know everything.  I may write about the importance of learning on a later post, so I'll keep this point short: there is always something to learn.  If you believe that you are forever free from the institution we call "school", I'll be bold to say that you are wrong.  Life is a school, and if you don't continue to learn at least one thing each day, you are literally just wandering through life aimlessly.  Grow from each day and every experience.  Take something out of the news that you hear, the problem you faced, or even the task that worked out.  If you learned something that day, you passed your test.  You get your "A" for the day.       

4. What made you smile?
I mention the benefits of smiling here, but in short, smiling has been scientifically proven to boost your mood.  Just like those situations where you are caught smiling to yourself because you are deep in thought recollecting something that made you smile (oh how embarrassing...these situations actually make you smile even more!), when you end the night thinking about something that made you happy that day, you smile again.  If you truly had a bad day, and these do happen once in awhile, go grab your phone or your computer and search for something funny.  Pick up a joke book or click to a late-night comedy show on your TV.  Find something that makes you giggle or laugh, and you'll end the day with a smile.  With this smile, you'll always be sure to go to sleep feeling happy.  

No comments:

Post a Comment