Sleep Your Crappy Life Away

Ok, don’t really do that. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. (Or, i guess, do, if that’s what you love. But, generally, sleeping through life is not recommended.)

No, this advice does not endorse hiding under the covers instead of experiencing all that the waking world has to offer. What it does suggest is that you may be able to use your sleep more effectively to improve your well-being.

I adore sleep. It is my go-to remedy for basically everything. Bad day? Sleep it off. Feeling un-well? A good snooze will help! Project at work making you anxious and wreaking havoc on your confidence? Retreat to dreamland and escape.

I am no stranger to using sleep as a feel-good method. In fact, I would say I have a tendency to overuse it. Yet it was only recently that I realized why. When you sleep, your nattering, angsty conscious mind shuts the hell up for a minute, and you can live in peace. Dreams are fun and mostly out of your control, so you can just be, without the incessant plotting, planning and general anxiety of your fun/ happiness-sucking consciousness.

In The Power of Your Subconscious Mind Joseph Murphy capitalizes on this relaxed, go-with-the-flow sleepy state. He claims that the messages we tell ourselves as we are falling asleep begin to imprint themselves on our subconscious minds. If we consciously communicate to ourselves our affirmations, then as we fade into rest they will, in effect, take over. In the sleepy state there is less competition for brain space from the ugly, negative thoughts that our conscious minds attempt to impose, and so the positive thoughts contain more force. And then they extend into our subconscious minds for the duration of our sleep. This multiplies the amount of time that we are able to communicate our positive message, without much additional effort.

According to Murphy, this is a highly effective and expedient technique for persuading your subconscious mind that your happy thoughts are the true ones. And because your subconscious mind dictates what shows up in your reality, you have pretty good reasons to convince it of the utmost awesomeness.

My favorite thing about train rides across Europe is sleeping in the little bunks of the couchette cars. It’s just so cool to be productive, traversing long distances, while you sleep. So I am all for trying this technique. I’ll let you know how it goes!

(Disclaimer: I in no way mean to indicate that your life is actually crappy. I’m sure your life is fabulous!)

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