For exactly one month now, I have been challenging myself to write down three positive things from the day every night before bed. Sometimes I get stuck in a negative rut, and that can affect my sleeping. For a long time, I have found writing down anything worrying me before bed can help me drift off better. It’s like I’ve got them down and out of my system, so they no longer need to remain floating around my head. But only recently have I thought that writing the happy things down would help too. And boy, does it.
I decided the best way to encourage me to do it, would to be to buy a pretty notebook/diary. I found mine in Oliver Bonas. It’s the One Line a Day: 5 Year Memory Book, but it actually has 5 lines for each day. That’s the perfect amount of space for my three positive thoughts. And it looks so pretty on my bedside table which definitely helps! At first I wanted it to be a bit of a self-esteem boost, so that each night I remembered I wasn’t worthless and I could achieve things. I planned to write down three things I had done well or achieved that day. But some days that was very hard. I could always think of one or two but three was a struggle. Then, ironically, that would just make me feel worse about myself. Instead I decided, I would write down three things – either things I did well or achieved or things that had made me happy. This makes for a good boost of self-esteem and happiness.
Some days, I still struggle. I think from the last 30 days I’ve been doing it, at least five days I’ve only managed two things. But it really forces you to look for the good in the day – even if it’s as small as a nice text from a friend or a good cup of tea you made. It forces the negative out of your mind before sleep, and pushes in those little happy moments. And I’ve long been an advocate that it’s the little things in life that are the best and that will make the greatest memories.
I know this isn’t quite how you’re supposed to use the Oliver Bonas diary. Inside it’s laid out so that you have a page per day and then five lines for each of the next five years. You’re supposed to write something small from each day each year and then you can compare what you do across the years and how far you’ve come. Mine might not work exactly the same but I think it will be such a nice thing to look back on if I can manage to commit to it for the next five years. It will be strange to see what changes in my situation, but also what changes in what I think makes me happy and what feels like an achievement. I really hope that as I go along it will get easier, that will truly show me that I am on my journey to becoming a more positive person.
I seriously recommend giving this a go, I know it’s really hard to squeeze something extra into bedtime routines – it’s always such a struggle to get to bed on time anyway. But I do think that thinking positive thoughts helps me get to sleep quicker, and puts me in a better mood both before bed and when I wake up. And it honestly only takes two minutes max. Good luck!