Read the Wellbeing in Business Series intro here.
Read the Wellbeing in Business Series post 1 here – Each morning is a promise – by Aneta Idczak
Read the Wellbeing in Business Series post 2 here – Mindfulness for stress management – by Amanda Pratt
Has Sleep become a nasty playground?
The fears and worries we don’t acknowledge in our entrepreneurial waking life come out to play in the middle of the night. And it can be so nasty. Worse than 2 kids having a spat in the playground.
Our mind gets stuck on auto-repeat and like clockwork it’s 2 or 3am, we’re wide awake and the merry-go-round of thoughts swirl in our heads relentlessly.
We ruminate on things.
“If only I said…”
“How dare they…”
“I forgot to…”
“What if [fill in the blank] happens…”
“Will I make a fool of myself when …”
Things that have happened. Things that may or may not happen. Things that are coming up.
These could be conversations, events, plans and the like.
What if there were another way?
Imagine you could fall asleep and rest easy all through the night. How would that feel?
It is completely possible to fall asleep and stay asleep when we understand that the mind makes a good slave but a poor master. All those fears and worries need a space to surface and so we want to give them play time long before we head to bed!
When you experience quality sleep, you are better equipped during the day to cope with life’s stressors and in turn will support you to let go of ruminating at night.
3 reasons why your mind makes a poor master
#1 Our mind has a role in keeping us safe
There is a part of the brain that is aimed at protecting us but can be hypervigilant for the wrong reasons. While we may be evolved in many ways our brain can still have us locked in flight or fight mode.
When we are fearful, this part of the brain is over-active and misinterprets signals from the environment based on past experience or meaning we attribute to things.
For example, you get an email that someone important to your business wants to talk to you urgently. What’s your first reaction?
#2 Our perception of things is naturally blinkered
If there was an apple on the desk and you viewed it from the front it may look a certain way. Perhaps it is shiny with no blemishes. You may hold the perception that the apple was safe to eat as is.
However, if you viewed it from the back, saw a dark spot and on closer examination a worm was making its home there. You’d hold a different perception.
So it is with our perception of situations. We each have the capacity to take in information but we do this in diverse ways because of the way we think. Four thinking lenses we use on the same situation are logic vs emotion and big-picture vs detailed and we prefer one or more over others.
Amplifying our perception of the situation is what can create unnecessary worry or fear and yet it may be a blinkered version of the story.
#3 We label our emotions good or bad
You may have been conditioned from childhood that certain emotions were good or bad. A common one is that feeling angry is unacceptable, so instead of healthfully expressing ourselves we internalise our feelings.
This creates internal stress in the body and can manifest in physical and psychological symptoms.
Finding a way to be ok with all emotions is possible and can be learned. As Petrea King, Quest for Life Foundation CEO, says “you have feelings but you are not your feelings”.
“Make a choice to make a change to your health” – Bev Roberts
3 Tips that will make your Nightmares become Sweet Dreams
Tip #1 – Work Closing Ritual
Set aside 15 minutes at the end of your business day to close out your work:
- Review what you achieved in the day and give yourself a pat on the back
- Make a plan for carry over work. Write down where you were and the very next step
- Review any conversations or events that didn’t go as planned. Do you need to revisit the conversation? Do you need to make a decision to be unattached to the outcome?
Tip #2 – Use Tapping
Set aside time at least an hour before bed to use Tapping also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). You will be amazed at how this supports you to let go of fear and worry.
If you have not used this tool before click here for a demonstration by Brad Yates
I favour Tapping over journaling at night because firstly it keeps the mind busy and secondly works at an energetic level too so you feel calmer. Journaling is best done in the morning as it often surfaces emotions and feelings that are not desirable at night.
Tip #3 – Use a Relaxation practice
Letting go of tension in the body especially before bed, helps to calm the body and mind because we can’t stay in the mind while we travel through the body plus breathing slowly and rhythmically dials down the stress response.
Become Calm and Collected once again with this FREE guided relaxation. Plug in your earbuds and change your mood anytime of the day… not while driving of course!
Place a priority on letting go of those fears before you head to bed so you can have restorative sleep that brings equilibrium easily.
Excerpt from Bev’s book, Hope in a Dark Tunnel: Your roadmap to well-being when navigating chronic illness. Find out more at her website www.hopeinadarktunnel.com
Well-being Transformation Specialist
Bev Roberts works with business women to transform their well-being by ‘rewiring’ to create healthy habits and lasting change. She is a certified well-being transformation specialist, accredited change manager master and holds a Master’s Degree in Behavioural Change and Strategy.
Though chronic illness robbed Bev of a successful career as an executive and change leadership consultant, she reinvented herself and retrained her brain through her love of learning. Her approach to health and change draws on neuroplasticity and holistically integrates four facets of well-being – physical, mental, emotional and soulful.
Bev is an advocate for those with invisible chronic illnesses, a voice and champion for those needing the critical knowledge and language to change their circumstances despite their current condition. Courageous and vulnerable, Bev insightfully articulates her open-hearted, pragmatic message to empower all who need it. Her book Hope in a Dark Tunnel is available for pre-order in June 2018.