Managing Stressful Thoughts at Night with Writing

Do you have stressful thoughts at night that keep you from sleeping? Over the past week, I have struggled to get the best sleep because I was thinking about the friend who ghosted me. It was a painful experience that I hashed out in my mind when I was supposed to be sleeping!

A lack of sleep can lead to all other types of health issues. One expressive writing study asked at risk for depression students to write about what was bothering them. Those who benefited most were those who brooded less in the future. That is, “writing helped them to change the ways they were thinking about their world: perhaps staving off periods anxiety or depression in the future” (Pennebaker and Smyth Opening Up by Writing it Down).

I love another journaling prompt that can help you manage your thoughts: 1–Ask yourself what are the unpleasant thoughts? 2– How do you feel about these unpleasant thoughts? Try this prompt the next time you are having trouble sleeping because your thoughts won’t leave you alone.

The point isn’t to get rid of the thoughts. It’s to acknowledge them and accept them so they have less control over us.ย