watching the clockUsually, lying in bed is the time we all look forward to. We get time to read a book, watch an episode of our favourite show, or snuggle up and get ready for sleep.

For a lot of people, that time you spend lying in bed just before you sleep or as you’re waking up, is thinking time. It can be frustrating when you’re trying to get to sleep, and something is on your mind, niggling at you. You keep thinking about the same things over and over in your head, tying yourself up into tighter and tighter knots. Sometimes it happens in the morning when you wake up before your alarm and are trying to doze until its time to get up, but you just can’t shut your mind off and get those extra few minutes of rest.

Image: mack2happy /

This morning was one of those days. My thoughts kept running. My eyes kept opening to check the clock. I was fidgeting. I changed positions a dozen times.

I was able to shut off the monkey chatter a few times. I forced myself to think about something else. My mind temporarily reminisced about happy memories or wondered about the fantastic future. But as soon as I started to doze and my control over my own thoughts loosened, the monkey chatter came back.

Why is that? Why does our brain go back to the hamster-wheel of worry? It’s like a default of some kind – that we are programmed to worry about unresolved issues over and over and over again until they’re resolved.

My goal is to reprogram my default: to be thinking of happy rainbows and unicorns and marshmallow fantasticness by default when I’m dozing off, instead of worrying about things I cannot change or have no immediate answers to. I wonder if I can teach this old dog a new trick…