Most of the time I can sleep anywhere anytime, but some nights my mind just won't stop even if my body is exhausted. Lots of times it happens when I get up to put my baby to sleep again during the night. I get back to bed and my brain decides it wants to stay awake.
After watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, I learned a little trick. When they have to make a decision, they sing a little song: "Stop, think, and choose."
Once I realize my brain is in overdrive, I sing the little song in my head twice then tell myself, "I can stay awake and think, or I can go to sleep. I choose sleep because I need it, everyone else is sleeping, and I can think later during the day." Sometimes I have to do this twice, but it helps get my brain in the right gear to get me to sleep.
You can control your thoughts. You choose what you want to spend time thinking about. Sometimes thoughts pop into your head, but it's your choice about whether they stay there or not. You can think about it or distract yourself and think about something else, your choice. Your mind is a stage and you pick the actors.
If you're like me, you sometimes rehash the same thoughts over and over. Sometimes it's a fight you had, what you wish you had said, a future situation you will be in, or negative thoughts about yourself of others. When you realize that you are in a downward thought spiral, you need to stop, think, and choose.
Stop- the spiral thoughts. Think- do I want to keep thinking about these thoughts? Do I want to think about something better, happier or different? Choose- decide what you want to think about and do it. If the bad thoughts come back, then start the process over again.
This song can be applied to actions as well. So many times I eat mindlessly. I'm bored, maybe I'll have a snack, oh I love cookies, yummy maybe I'll eat two. If every time I went to the kitchen, I made a conscious effort to stop, think, and choose, then I would make healthier snack choices.
Stop- don't just mindlessly grab for the nearest snack. Think- am I really hungry? Am I thirsty instead? How about I eat an apple instead of some chips? Choose- I choose to get a drink of water and eat an apple instead of grabbing the bag of chips.
End of story- I made a conscious good decision about what I would do. I made a healthier choice. I feel better!
Whether it's your thoughts or your actions, remember- stop, think, and choose!