Have you ever had the kind of day where work never seems to end, a million different tasks land on your plate all at once and you feel so overwhelmed that you’re legitimately dizzy by the time you get home and collapse on your couch? Yeah, us, too.
Being pushed to your absolute limits can be helpful for your resilience and self-confidence down the line, but in that moment, it just makes you feel like one giant ball of anxiety rolling down a huge hill that’s engulfed in flames.
Follow Ladders on Flipboard!
And that’s not even the worst part. It’s one thing to deal with heart-palpitating stress all day and another to hold onto it once you’re home and trying your hardest to relax.
Winding down after a day from hell can be a pretty complicated task, and most of us end up unsuccessful, struggling to fall asleep or tossing and turning all night once we do.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to explore the magic that is journaling before bed. But we don’t mean a “Dear Diary” kind of entry or a stream-of-consciousness rant about how horrible and difficult your life is right now.
There’s a particular style that can help you transform that frenetic energy into a grounded sense of gratitude, clear that mental chatter and help you breathe easy again.
Grab your favorite color pen, turn to a blank page and start listing off all of the good things that happened to you today.
It can be as big as “My major presentation went flawlessly” or as small as “I made it to work five minutes before my boss walked in the door.” Anything that could be considered a success, jot it down.
Replay your morning routine, your commute to work, the tasks you powered through like a boss (even if you were stressed AF), your phone call with your mom before leaving the office, the 10-minute walk home to your apartment that served as your bout of exercise for the day, all of it.
Now, look down at that page. Notice how many things there are to be pleased with yourself about, to be thankful for as another day of your life comes to a close. That visual is mighty powerful in helping you reframe how you’re feeling about what you just went through.
And, by listing all of the good, the bad seems to seep out of your pores and away from your personal space, leaving you capable of (finally) taking a deep breath of satisfaction and relaxing. Phew. Add a cup of herbal tea to the mix, and you’ll be good as new in a matter of minutes.
You might also enjoy…
- New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy
- Strangers know your social class in the first seven words you say, study finds
- 10 lessons from Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule that will double your productivity
- The worst mistakes you can make in an interview, according to 12 CEOs
- 10 habits of mentally strong people