Reflecting on your day can support you in taking a step back from what is weighing on your mind or holding your attention. Not only focusing on positive thoughts, but any type of self reflection can help to improve overall mood and attitude and specifically how that is impacting one's sleep.
Even as we wind down and move through our bedtime routines, there can be a lot on our minds. Everything from upcoming travel, relationship problems, or a sick friend or family member and it can be challenging to work through these thoughts, especially when there are multiple things going on at once and all are bouncing around our minds. Putting these thoughts and emotions to paper can allow you to reflect on them without being so caught up in your own head. Writing out your thoughts can help you to reflect on why you are feeling a certain way and what you can do to help minimize any feelings of unease. This distance can help you to uncover the root of your anxiety, giving you a chance to analyze and understand your reactions and emotions, as well as time to work to find a better solution. You may think that the upcoming holidays with your family is stressful because you have to travel during a pandemic, while balancing your promotion and new responsibilities at work, but writing it out could help you uncover that you are actually anxious about bringing home your partner for the first time. And knowing this information can help you make a plan to better deal with these emotions.
Additionally, journaling can help you find space to move past emotions that are not serving you. If you are feeling angry or frustrated, it can be incredibly beneficial to write out why you feel that way. It can help you let go or move all of those energy filled emotions out of your body and onto a page. Especially if these emotions are in regards to someone you can’t tell them to, like an ex or a boss, writing them a letter you don’t send has shown to be so helpful to separate yourself from these feelings.
Once these problems are out on paper, you should be able to take a step back and move forward with the positive aspects of your day and life. Maybe take some time to write down 3 things you are grateful for, or reach out to someone important to you, telling them you appreciate them. Ending the day on a positive note, where you separate yourself from all of the thoughts and feelings that are causing you distress, and instead focusing on the positives, can lead to a better mindset and, in turn, better sleep.