I love the thought of a Happy Memory helping you fall asleep. I’m going to have to force myself to do that because everything I forgot to do, the bad stuff that happened to me that day and what I need to do at work the next day is what floods my brain when I’m trying to sleep. Here is how it works.
More and more research shows that thinking back on a HAPPY MEMORY might help. But you have to really try to put yourself there.
It’s called “savoring.” The goal is to recreate the “positive emotional state of the experience” in your mind.
It can be any happy memory. But instead of just thinking about it, you have to close your eyes and imagine yourself back there.
So, if the memory is sitting on a beach in Aruba, try to feel the sun on your face . . . hear the sound of waves crashing . . . and smell the ocean breeze.
If you do it right, it reduces activity in your sympathetic nervous system to help you de-stress. And it ups the activity in your parasympathetic nervous system, which keeps you calm.
If you want to try it, here are three tips: Pick your happy memory beforehand. Practice it during the day, and be patient because it might be hard at first. And if you tend to lie in bed worrying about stuff, schedule 15 minutes of worrying time earlier in the day. It’ll make you less inclined to worry at night.