My mind has always been racing with millions of thoughts and questions, which is why I have such a hard time falling asleep. Lately though, it’s starting to drive me to insanity. I’ll lay in bed for hours trying to sleep and the thoughts just don’t stop no matter how hard I try. I have to be awake, at the least, for 22 hours before my mind runs weary. I’ve tried pills but never liked them, and I can’t seem to meditate because I can’t clear my mind. Does anyone have any advice? It would be much appreciated.
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I would try meditating with some music(I prefer instrumental for this) at first. It’s easier to focus on the music and clear your mind that way rather than try to get your internal dialogue to shut up when you’re new at it. Are you a caffeine drinker? I’ve noticed that when I don’t drink coffee I sleep a lot better at night.
ugh I hate this as well. Its like my mind is silent during the day when I’m distracted with work and other things, but as soon as I lay down to sleep my mind is its own creature just constantly thinking. Same issue happens when I try to meditate sometimes. I got to work with clearing my mind better. I haven’t done it myself yet but when Ellie mentioned music it reminded me.
This website just has the constant sound of rain which I’ve thought may be relaxing to listen to, although there is thunder ( idk if that would be startling), and try to meditate while listening.
Yeah that situation sucks, I used to be like that too. It isn’t that hard to fix thought. Don’t eat late, and don’t eat a lot of sugar, starch and other such carbs.
Just wire down. Meditation is the best tool, of course you CAN meditate but you’re just not doing it. Patience. You learn how to clear your mind by meditating, and it’s also relaxing.
Or you can just intercept your thoughts. This is easy, and there are many methods. Like a koan. Or asking yourself “What’s my next thought.” Just pay attention to your thoughts instead of letting them wreak havoc.
Like “Soc” says in The peaceful warrior. “Take out the trash. The trash is in your head.”
my cousin calls it busybrain and I used to have it bad. For me meditation initially was a series of small successes – even a few seconds of silence, a breath between thoughts, was an accomplishment, a relief really. Then I worked on stretching out those pauses. eventually one of those pauses felt like it was timeless, and then getting lost kept getting easier. Now I can usually tell my brain to shut up and it listens, for a little while anyway.
so keep at it, spend 10 or 15 minutes a day in a quiet, relaxed pose, and observe your thoughts w/o encouraging them. when I get distracted, I always bring it back to the breath, every exhale lets some of those thoughts out, and often the pause after exhaling is empty, too.
You also may want to talk to a psychiatrist. What you’re describing sounds a lot like me when I forget to take my bi-polar medication. As for the meditation, try using a mantra as well. When I start to have overwhelming thoughts, I start repeating in my mind the phrase “Clear you mind” over and over. I try to make that all I can think of, and usually that calms me down.
Ya I guess I should really just make meditation my main focus for the next couple months. I’ve only tried basic techniques so I’m going to fully engulf myself in it this time. Thanks for the insight. Any recommendations on where to start(i.e. books, sites, articles) because there’s a sea of info with it.
@Manimal I just recently quit smoking cigs a week and a half ago and have been using snus to ease me off the nicotine, so that’ll be out of my system in a couple weeks. As for caffeine, I can’t do without my morning cup of coffee. Maybe I can try hot chocolate instead though haha.
My main resource has been “How to Meditate” by Lawrence Le Shan. It’s old (and out of print), but it’s been a big help for me. Try looking it up.
In fact, a quick google search states you can download the book for free, though I’m not sure if it’s a public domain book or not.
Aha! That may be the problem. When you’re been smoking cigs for a while and quit or switch your method of nicotine it kinda fucks up your equilibrium for a bit (including sleeping patterns). Did this start after you quit?
@Sam no I’m as happy as can be, I just love thinking about everything.
@Sean ya I used to fit the characteristics for bipolar II but I prefer not to take any kind of medication. I’m going to try meditation first and if it still doesn’t seem to do anything maybe I’ll go that route. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll see if I can find it.
No I’ve been like this my entire life, but it has kicked back into it’s full force since I’ve been weaning off. I’ve been having the most vivid dreams when I do sleep though so that’s a positive. Right now it’s almost 6am here and I’m wide awake. I’ll probably just stay up all day so I can sleep tonight.
@Animus It’s not about techniques or information, it’s about focus. That’s all. Meditation isn’t flashy, it’s simple. It’s about doing nothing. That’s how (and why) it works.
As for temporarily stopping your thoughts. Simple words like this, now, stop, and silence can be used to stop your thoughts. If simply thinking it doesn’t work, yell it.
Another thing you can do is to just hum or whistle or whatever. Just one continuous note, pay attention to it. And then you stop. Notice the feeling of relative emptiness? Focus on that, amplify it.
@Manimal I’ve tried the words but thoughts are always flowing in the background still. It’s like I have a main river where my attention is at, but there’s a second stream further back that never stops moving and will flood into the main one. Never tried a drone though, I’ll give it a try.
@Animus Snus contains more nicotine than cigarettes, way more addictive in general. Plus you can do it anywhere unlike smoking. Not a good method to quit smoking at all. Just a tip. Sleep easily gets disturbed when you drop an addiction, when I quit smoking I couldn’t sleep for a couple of days.
As for morning coffee, there’s nothing wrong with that. Coffee should be avoided in the evenings, other than that it’s fine.
I know that feel. You just gotta pay attention to it, focus on it. The more you do it the easier it gets, like always. You cannot control what you are not aware of, work on becoming aware of it and the rest will be a cakewalk.