One of my cures for insomnia is my nightly ritual of the day’s review.
Making peace with each day – your activities, conversations, emotions and thoughts – is one means of seizing the day before it flows into the next.
If you do this well, it can help you sleep more soundly, leaving less unfinished business for your subconscious and less worry for your conscious mind.
It can make you more conscious of the dynamics of your thoughts, emotions and relationships.
Your nightly questions can inform how you live each succeeding day. I have several approaches. With all of them, you have to go to bed early enough so that you don’t fall asleep before a moment of reflection.
1. Simply review your day from the moment you awoke. What did I do? What were my thoughts? What did I feel at different points throughout the day?
2. Review seven questions. These are the same questions I use in meditation. What am I feeling (What did I feel throughout the day?)? What am I thinking (What were my thoughts and preoccupations?)? What am I doing (What did I do? Were my actions aligned with my values?)? What am I saying (What did I say?)? What do I see (What did I see? How did I see others?)? How am I relating (How did I relate to the people in my life this day? How did I express love and compassion?)? Who am I?
3. Focus on gratitude. What are you thankful for today? What surprises made your day? Who helped you? What were you able to accomplish?
4. Focus on growth. What did I learn today? What did I learn about others, myself and life. Without asking yourself the right questions, you may not learn as well. I call this Socratic self-questioning.
5. Focus on relationships. What important conversations did I have today? Were any transformative to either of us or our relationship? If there was conflict, what were the underlying issues and meaning? Reflect from the perspective of your whole relationship with that person and from the perspective of what the other represents to you. Who did I help? How did I express love? What did I do to nurture my relationships?
6. Focus on joy. At what points did time stand still? When did I laugh? When did I experience peace, wonder and joy?