July 28, 2011

Talk to Yourself (1)

Hello, Friends! 
So one week ago, I challenged you guys to start writing in a journal - whether it be a small notebook you carry with you, a spare piece of loose-leaf, or a computer document.  I challenged you to write down whatever it was you were thinking at the end of each day, and see how that affected you throughout the week.  And I took part too, creating a document on my laptop, and trying to write each night. 

Of course, with work and everyday life, and my own forgetfulness, there were a couple of nights where I forgot to write.  At the end of the seven days though, I think I can say that I'm glad I did it, and I'm going to continue trying to write every night.  I found that on the nights I did write, typing out everything that came to mind, in no order whatsoever other than the order in which I thought of them (and trust me...if anybody were to read it, they'd doubt that I am an English major), I fell asleep easier, and slept better.  Lately (and by lately, I mean over the past four or five years) I've had trouble falling asleep at night, and usually I wake up every couple of hours and find myself tossing and turning for another 45 minutes to an hour trying to fall back asleep.  And I have no illusions that this is due to anything other than one simple fact about me:  
I think far too much.  
There, I said it.  Honestly though, I do.  Every night I lie in bed and think about a million things, like what happened that day and what I could have done or said differently in specific situations, worry (I do a lot of that), my apparent "future", school, work, friends, family, my room and the fact that it (inevitably) needs to be cleaned, chores for the next day, taking pictures, did I choose the right major, and so on and so forth.  Until 1 in the morning, at which point I pass out from complete exhaustion, only to dream about everything that I'd spent the last three hours thinking about.
And I've tried everything - counting sheep, reading a book, imagining a broom sweeping all the thoughts out of my head (yeah...I did that...), trying to consistently think about one simple thing (like a toothbrush) until I fell asleep, etc. etc. etc.  

But this project was the first thing that worked.  The nights that I wrote everything I was thinking, I fell asleep much quicker.  Partially, I'm sure, because I'd tired myself out a bit.  But also because I'd exhausted my mind of everything it had stored from the day to think about.  I'd already written it all down, therefore thinking about it.   
And besides that, I think that "talking to myself" has helped me in one other way:  it helps me to work things out in my head.  If I'm writing it down, that means that - for at least a couple of minutes - I'm focused on that one issue, and that time plus writing down every relevant though, helps me to work it out in my mind, and calm myself down.  It helps me to process all the crazy things flying through my head at all times, because when I see something written down, I judge it more harshly than when I'm thinking it.  I can see some ridiculous fear typed out on my screen and think to myself "Kiersten, calm down.  That's not even legitimate.", and as ludicrous as that sounds, it helps me.

So how about you?  I want to know how you guys felt about talking to yourself this past week.  Is it something you'd do again?  What'd you think about it?  Link me to your post about it!

<3 Kiersten

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Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! It means so much to me, and I really do love reading all your messages! <3