Episode 17 – Q and A on Sleep, Romance and the Law of Attraction, and Meditation

Episode Summary

In this episode, we address three different questions. (1) What do you do when you can’t sleep? (2) Can you use the law of attraction to find the perfect partner? And (3) What if I find meditation boring?

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Show Transcript

Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Emotional Embuffination podcast. I'm your host, David Enevoldsen, and here on Emotional Embuffination, we are training to become emotionally buff enough to overcome any conflict in life. And at the same time we are working on discovering new levels of success and happiness and figuring out how to optimize all those good, positive feelings in life. This podcast is just one of a number of different resources I have available. If you want to learn more about that, check out the Emotional Embuffination website, which is embuffination.com. All right, on today's show, we are going to be doing something a little unusual in that, we're not necessarily just hitting one single topic. I'm actually going to respond to a couple of questions that I have received related to Emotional Embuffination topics. So specifically, I have three questions I'm going to cover. One is about sleep. Somebody talked to me about, well, there's actually a couple of different people that talked to me about not being able to get to sleep and having a real difficult time with that. Another one of the questions that I've received and this one also I've received multiple times in different forms, but it was effectively how do I use the law of attraction to get the perfect partner? So, we're going to address that. And then third is a question about meditation. And this one, here again, I've heard this a couple of different times as I think about it, but specifically, I had somebody ask me about the idea that when they do meditation, they get really bored and so they just feel that they can't do it.

And a couple of the people that I talked to specifically were saying things like that they do something else, like go, go, go for a walk and try to use that as a meditation, that kind of thing. So we're going to address those three questions. In essence, how do you get to sleep? What do you do if you can't get to sleep? Can you use a law of attraction to get the perfect partner? And meditation, what do you do when you're bored with that? One other thing before we kind of jump into this is that this is going to be the last episode I have for this particular season. I'm going to have to take a little break just to gather some stuff here. I am not stopping by any stretch. I'm very much going to be continuing the Emotional Embuffination podcast. We just have to take a pause and bring a wrap to season one. So I will be back soon with more episodes. I'm going to be continuing to produce more content on this, but this will be kind of the last one for now. Let's go to question number one So I can't get to sleep. This is something I've heard. Like I said, I've had a number of different people talk to me about it.

And frankly, this is something that I really, really struggled with. And it's also incredibly important. Just to give you a little backdrop with me. It used to be that I was almost proud of the fact that I did not get enough sleep. I remember when I was in law school specifically, I used to and I'm not even exaggerating here, it was really normal for me to get between three and 5 hours of sleep a night, like every night. And I would very rarely go to bed before two or three in the morning. And I very rarely got up before like, or any later than, excuse me, six, maybe seven at the latest there. So, I typically wasn't getting anywhere near enough sleep. And you should be getting like 7 to 8 hours of sleep. And I know that there are some people out there that say I'm abnormal and I really don't need that much. But I mean, you should at least be getting 7 hours of sleep and the number of people that actually physiologically don't need that much sleep is extremely small in number. So, it is very, very likely that you need to get a good amount of sleep. And if you're getting less than 7 hours a night, then you're shooting yourself in the foot. And here's the thing. I did not realize when I was getting so little sleep how much damage that was doing to me. I was depressed all the time, and there's a lot of different reasons for this.

There's a lot of different things that that factored into this underlying problem. But I think this was a major, major contributor. And I went through a complete overhaul of myself and it was a lot of work to kind of restructure my sleep so that I was getting to bed at more like nine, ten-ish. And then I was making sure that I was getting a full night's sleep in there and it made me feel better. In and of itself. It made me more efficient. I, I now unequivocally notice any time I don't get enough sleep, I'm like not functioning right the next day. And it's funny because we as a culture have begun to just glorify the idea of sleep deprivation. Like we're proud of it. And I've done this myself and I've heard lots and lots of people do this where they're just absolutely proud of the fact that they went on so little sleep. Because I think we tend to think that if I say I didn't get enough sleep, it means that I was up working hard. But the problem is what it really means is that I'm making myself miserable and I'm making myself inefficient and I'm not going to have very productive hours while I am awake, you know? And if you have somebody that's selling themselves in some way on the fact that they didn't have enough sleep, really, they're selling themselves on the fact that they're not managing their time well and they're not managing their energy well, and they're probably going to be very inefficient in how they do whatever it is you need them to do.

So really you need to get sleep. And it's not even just on efficiency issues. Like this can have long-term health effects. It can again, it covers issues like your well-being, know your mental well-being and how good you feel. It's dramatically different. I can very much tell the difference now because I've paid so much attention to it when I'm getting enough sleep versus when I'm not. And it is night and day. There's actually a really good book that is what changed my perspective on this whole thing called "Sleep Revolution." And it was written by Arianna Huffington. There's a print version and there is a audible version if you want to learn a lot about all of the research that goes into various aspects of sleep deprivation and making sure you're getting enough sleep, check that book out. But it's really important to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. A couple of tips, just things that I can offer that were useful to me in my own transition from being someone who never got enough sleep to trying to make sure I was very controlled and was getting enough sleep, is that I think, number one, you have to start with the assumption that you do have the power to do this. And I've heard people where I start giving tips directly and I just say, "Hey, here's some specific mechanical things you can do to get enough sleep." And usually the first thing they start saying is, "Well, you don't understand how it is for me. I'm different." And I am telling you, I was an absolute night owl for probably the first, what, 36 years of my life. And I never, ever thought that I would be that old dude that goes to sleep at nine and gets up at five or something like that. I just in my head, there was no way that I was anything other than the Night Owl, and I was able to reverse this. And I am thoroughly convinced that anyone that believes they can and really tries to can. But before you can actually do that, I think you need to convince yourself of that. It can't just be me saying it. Like you've got to believe that it is possible for you to change your sleep patterns. And it can be tough, especially if you've had a lifetime like I did, a lifetime of screwed up sleep behaviors and habits. Then it's going to take some work to rewire that. But you can do it. And so I think all of this starts with believing and understanding that this is all within your power. Once you've got that, just a couple of little things you can do. One is make sure you're regimenting your time.

Make sure that you're structuring when you're going to sleep. Make sure that you start winding down at the right time. So everybody's schedules are a little different. You know, sometimes people work overnights and they have to sleep during the day, that sort of thing. And that's understandable. Most people have I think most people I've been exposed to have had kind of a normal work during the day, go to sleep at night sort of schedule. If you don't have something totally abnormal in that respect, pick a time. Well, regardless of what your, let me rephrase this, regardless of what your sleep schedule looks like, pick a time that you know that you can go to bed by and try to make it consistent because our bodies need some level of consistency to this. When you start throwing it all out of whack it gets hard to go to sleep at an appropriate time. But pick a time where it's going to be such that you know you can get a good at least 7 hours of sleep every night if you go to bed by that time and wake up by whatever time it is you need to wake up by. And then once you've figured out what that time is start being very disciplined about making sure that you're getting to bed by the time that's probably like an hour before, whatever that time is you need to go to sleep. Because your body needs time to wind down.

I've had this experience so many times where I'm doing work and I'm staying up and I'm sitting on the computer typing away. And then if I try to say, "Oh, it's time for bed," and I just close my computer and jump in bed, like my brain is going like a million miles a second. And so I need time to get all that to slow down and to shut off and kind of unwind. If you can give yourself more than an hour, that's great. But if not, at least give yourself that kind of hour to slow down. So structure your schedule, Make sure that you're giving building into that schedule some time that's going to let you start to slow down and actually let your body drift into sleep. Also, before you're going to bed, be very careful about what you're doing. Absolutely do not use any sort of screens like don't hold your phone up. Don't look at your phone. Don't use your computer, your tablet, anything like that. There is there's a lot of research indicating that blue light, which is in all of these devices, does a lot of stuff to wake you up. So if you are essentially feeding yourself things that are going to keep you awake, then that's already creating a problem and you haven't really given yourself any wind down time if you've been sitting there looking at screens. Another thing here is that your brain can really get going when you're looking at stuff like a video game on your phone or something that that just wires you up in totally the wrong direction.

So don't use anything with screens before you're going to bed. Give yourself time to wind down. Make sure that you are setting up your room no matter what time of day you're going to sleep, make sure that you're setting up your room so that you can minimize light. It's really important the way our bodies are wired to not have excessive exposure to any sort of light. For a while I was using sleep masks. I still periodically do this just to minimize the amount of light coming in. I'll try to make sure that my windows are very tight. A lot of people like to use blackout curtains and that sort of thing. I go out of my way to make sure that I have my phone not too far from my bed, and the charger that I set my phone on has a bright blue light. And so I make sure to cover that up because again, blue light is a problem. And so you want to just do everything you can to minimize the amount of light that's coming in because that's going to have an impact. Another thing you want to do is check the temperature in your room. You don't want it to be too hot. You want a nice, cool temperature. That can be difficult in some situations. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, where it gets really hot in the summer and this can be a challenging one because especially in the middle of the summer here, it starts getting expensive to be running the A.C.

You get ridiculous power bills if you're getting it too cool. But do what you can to keep it as cool as possible. If that means using a fan, I do this almost every night. I turn a fan on to make sure that I'm remaining kind of cool. But temperature is important. You also want to, this is something I've found makes a big difference, if you, you don't want to work out like right before you go to bed or even shortly before you go to bed. However, on the flip side of this, and the reason you don't want to work out is because I think it really gets your body revved up. And so, if you're starting to do that in the evening, working out is great. You know, there's all sorts of health benefits, it benefits your mind, etc., etc.. But when you do it later in the day, my experience has been that it gets my my whole body wired up and I have a much harder time going to sleep if I do that late. On the flip side of that, if I start to work out in the mornings, I find that that's a great way to start my day or whenever it is that you wake up. If you work out first, that revs up your body, which is good for going through the rest of the day.

And I also find that at the end of the day, it's much easier for me to go to sleep because I think my body has done some of the stuff that it needs to be doing where it's, our bodies are designed to be worked to, to do things and to be used. And so if you are revving it up in the morning, getting that workout, I think it becomes much easier, at least in my experience, to get to sleep at the end of the day. One kind of last thing is be very careful about what you're consuming, especially with respect to things like stimulants. If you have caffeine, for example, try not to drink, I mean, if you have to drink caffeine and generally I've become kind of an advocate for not drinking caffeine. And in fact, I have a video I did a YouTube video, which I sort of regret about my morning routine a little while back. And I was talking about some caffeine that I was drinking in the morning. And I stopped doing that a while back. And, you know, caffeine, if you are going to drink caffeine, let's say you need your cup of coffee or whatever. Do that at the beginning of the day. Do not do that in the last half of your day. So if you get if you're on sort of a normal sleep schedule and you get up in the morning, maybe have your coffee, but don't have anything in the afternoon on.

So just to make sure that you're not overstimulating your body. One thing that I will sometimes do if I'm really struggling and I did this a lot when I was initially transitioning into somebody who has a what I consider normal sleep schedule is you can use melatonin. I still to this day have a little bottle of melatonin next to my bed and I will occasionally use it. I try not to use this as a crutch. I try not to rely on this because I think your body starts to adapt to it and can have some weird, not really dangerous side effects that I'm aware of. But sometimes I'll get like these strange feeling when I wake up in the morning if I've used melatonin, but in a pinch or if you're trying to really transition, I think melatonin can be useful. So, you can try just like the little chewable chewable tablets like I have next to my bed. That that can be helpful in kind of a pinch where you just your body will not shut down. One other thing you can kind of do as I'm thinking about this also, just another last thought is if my brain is going a million miles a second and I can't get it to shut off, sometimes I will start combining different things, including a very specific meditation type, where in particular, if you're using kind of mindfulness meditation, just to get your brain to stop going crazy and stop bouncing all over the place.

And that essentially is just you think about something or a spot in your body or or nothing. I find thinking about a spot in my body is the easiest for me to operate around. And then every time you find your mind drifting off into something else, just immediately bring it back. Like, don't judge it just bring it right back to that spot in your body. And then think about that. And I find sometimes that helps my brain show up. But try all these tips. There's more stuff out there that you can do. It is, I can't stress this enough, though, it is so important that you get enough sleep. So make sure that you are doing that. If you are not, sleep is a huge game-changer. And when we're talking Emotional Embuffination and we're talking about emotional well-being, sleep has a profound impact on your emotional states. It also has a profound impact on your efficiencies and your problem-solving abilities and meaning that if you are not optimizing your sleep patterns, you're putting yourself at a huge handicap when you start to try to deal with problems. So, get sleep. It's really important.

Okay. Question number two is, again, I got this one from several different people. And it was interesting because essentially the same exact question and that was can I use the law of Attraction to find the perfect partner or the perfect romantic partner? It was kind of the intention here.

This was fascinating to me because I think it's reflective of a thinking about what the Law of Attraction is that I want to tweak a little bit. So the presumption, I think, when you're asking this question is that if you are using the law of attraction, it's this like little tool you can use to kind of get whatever it is you want. I'm going to just jump into the Law of Attraction, use it for 10 minutes and jump out. And I'm going to have $1,000,000. I think that's how people think about it. I'm going to jump into using the Law of Attraction and I'm going to bring the partner of my dreams into my life. A couple of things about this that I think are really noteworthy. One is that, remember, the Law of Attraction is always on. And that's why if you're embracing the Law of Attraction paradigm, they call it the "Law" of Attraction. It's not the occasional tool of attraction. It's the law. The implication of that is that it is always functioning. Whether you're paying attention to it or not, whether you're actively using it or not, or whether you're using it for something you want or not, it's always going. And in effect, what that means is that if you are always activating the law of attraction in one way or another, if you have any partner at all, or if you are drawn to someone or you are attracting someone in any way, that is an affect of the law of attraction.

Which means that, yes, you absolutely can use the law of attraction to get the perfect partner. The hang up is usually when we are drawing partners in we tend to just think, well, this person was terrible and I keep getting terrible people. Why is that? However, that means that if we're looking at it from a law of attraction perspective, something about our thinking was off when we drew that person in and or when we were attracted to that person in the first place. So we need to get our thinking straight. It is very important that we start to think if you're going to be involved with any partner at all that or partners if you're in some sort of polyamorous situation, but regardless, if you have a romantic partner period, then you have to be aware of what's going on with respect to who you're attracting and who you were attracted to. An important affect of that thought is that that means if you want to draw in the perfect partner, you need to become the magnet to that perfect partner. And what that means is you need to become the kind of person to whom that perfect partner is drawn. You have to become the magnet. Think about this a little differently.

If you are, let's say you're a woman and you're a heterosexual woman, you're attracted to men and you think, "Well, I want a partner." The partner that you want probably is not this severely overweight person who never gets any exercise, has zero ambition in life, lives in his mom's basement, spends all of his time drinking vodka and playing video games and eating Cheetos, and he's an unemployed. You know, there's probably not on its face what you're going to perceive and maybe this is, but most of the time I don't think that's what most heterosexual women are going to be attracted to is that kind of person. So now reframe for a second and step into that guy's shoes. If you are him and you are saying, well, I want this supermodel girlfriend and I want her to be low drama and I want her to be ambitious and all these other things, how does he get the girl of his dreams? He has to change something. Because the girls he's going to attract in that state are not the kind of girls that he's got in his head. And so he's going to be perpetually unhappy if he's attracting any partners at all, which means that he needs to rewire and become the magnet. That means he's got to stop constantly spending all his time drinking and playing video games and eating Cheetos and doing nothing. He's got to get a little bit of ambition in his life.

He's got to start becoming that person that the girl of his dreams is actually attracted to. He needs to think about his health. He needs to think about his physical fitness. He needs to think about what he's doing with his life. And should he be living in his mom's basement and all this other stuff. That is the way to use the Law of Attraction. To get the perfect partner. You have to become someone better. You have to start to level yourself up and become the person that that girl or guy of your dreams is attracted to. This is really important and this is a fundamental difference, again, because I think that most people just think all I have to do is do some voodoo and then I'm going to attract whatever it is I want. And the Law of Attraction is all about attraction. I mean, again, it's a law which means that it's always at play. And whether you're paying attention to it or not, it's going on. But it's also about attraction, which means you need to be attractive to the things that you want to attract. If you want to attract money. You need to become the person that money is drawn to. Think like an entrepreneur. Think like an investor. Think like the sort of person that is going to get money. If you want the girl or guy of your dreams, become the person that that girl or guy of your dreams is attracted to.

That's how you do it. If you start to change yourself, if you start to level up, you are going to start to not only attract a different caliber of people and you're going to attract different levels of drama. You're going to start attracting different modes of thought in the people that you're interfacing with, but you're also going to start to be attracted to different kinds of people. I it's funny, I thought about this one a lot. I've looked back in my life at the women that I've been attracted to, and it's slowly shifted over time as I feel like I've shifted through time. So stop thinking so much about this idea of the law of attraction as just a weird little tool you can get to find the guy or girl of your dreams. Instead, find a way to level yourself up, become the magnet. Become the guy or girl of that person's dreams. So that when you show up, they're like, "Oh my gosh, the Law of Attraction worked, and it brought me exactly what I wanted." And then it's going to also be working for you.

All right, third question was about meditation. The this as anybody who has listened to me or read my books or anything is probably aware, I'm a huge advocate for meditation. I've got some stuff on the website about this. I, I really like meditation. It's something that I go to periodically. I notice the difference too when I'm not doing it, and actually quite recently I've been a little overloaded with work and other stuff, and I've not been doing it as well as I should be or as frequently as I should be, and I feel like I'm noticing the difference.

My anxiety levels are going up and I feel like I'm not handling things quite as well. And so I am a huge, huge advocate for regular meditation. And specifically I find mindfulness meditation to be extraordinarily useful. And I described this a few minutes ago. Mindfulness meditation, you can get more complicated than this, but in essence it's just sitting there and bringing your thoughts into a single place and not letting them bounce around all over the place. Kind of accepting where you are not thinking about the future and not thinking about the past, not thinking about what you're going to be doing for lunch plans later, or those tasks that you need to finish. And any time you find yourself, your brain kind of jumping off into other things, you just bring it right back. You don't judge it. You don't judge yourself for your mind bouncing around, even if you're having to do it a lot, you just keep bringing it right back. And so what a lot of people, well, let me back up. I'm a huge advocate for this. I find it very useful. I find it calming. I also find this to be extraordinarily useful as a backdrop when you start running into conflict. When I've had to deal with, especially in the law firm context, when I've had to deal with people that are flipping out on me, screaming at me, upset, yelling, anything like that, one of the things that I've noticed is that there's a feeling when I'm doing meditation that I can tap into in the midst of these arguments.

And so there's there's this one sensation that I don't even know quite how to describe it, because I know what it feels like, but I don't know exactly how to articulate it other than to say it's something like I'm almost disconnected from myself. It's like I'm almost looking down on myself and and saying, it's a sensation. I'm not like actually looking down on myself, although there's meditation types where you sort of can, but, it's almost there's a feeling of being disconnected and a feeling of things like, you know, if you're sitting there and you're just not moving and you have an itch on your body, you can have this sensation of, well, the itch is there. And I observe the itch, but it's not bothering me. And I can just sort of wait until it passes and then it does. And you can just kind of remain utterly still and unbothered by what's going on. And you can take that sensation and translate it over to things that happen in your life. So like, if that person is sitting there screaming at you, I can bring that same feeling and disconnect and say, Wait a minute, what are we screaming about? Does this really matter? Do I need to react emotionally? Do I need to be reactive to this situation? What's the logical response? It's it's amazing what it does to your emotional states by just having some experiential database of sensations that come from regular meditation.

So I'm a huge advocate for that, in case that's not obvious by this point. So the question then comes around if you're doing meditation, and here again, I've talked to a number of different people that have run into this problem. If you're doing meditation and you're trying it and you sit down for a few minutes and you're like this, this is boring, this sucks, I don't like it. And this is an experience a lot of people have had and I've had a lot of people kind of try meditation and then abandon it and that's okay, to a certain extent, although I really hope that people give it a fair shot. And some of the things that I would offer about this is number one, start it off with really small amounts of time. If you've never done meditation before, don't do 6 hours of meditation in one stretch. It's just you're going to be bored out of your mind or you're going to hate it, or it's going to feel overwhelming because it's going to be such a time chunk out of your day or something like that.

Just give yourself 5 minutes or 15 minutes. 15 minutes is one of my favorite time slots for for kind of meditating because I feel like I can just kind of start to get into that sensation. But it's not so much time that my whole day is shot. So 15 minutes is a really great one. But if that feels onerous, just set a timer for 5 minutes and just do that and allow yourself to have these small amounts of time. Another affect of this is that if it feels boring that means that either you're not doing it quite right or you haven't gotten into that meditative state that is really beneficial. There is a sensation. I don't know, I don't even know how to explain how to get into it, other than to just kind of sit there and allow your thoughts to keep coming back to your center point. But there is a sensation that that weird, disconnected feeling that I was describing before. It's almost like it just magically happens at some point in the midst of meditation. It always comes to me at different times. Sometimes I don't feel like I quite get into it, but it's frequently there. And there's that feeling when I'm in that mode is not boring. That mode, that feeling is, in my opinion, the objective. Like trying to get into that place. And it's almost energizing when I'm done. It's not tedious. It's not boring. And once I really get into that mode, I've had numerous instances where I can spend an hour and it doesn't feel like that much.

And that's why I say kind of set the alarm if you're doing meditation rather than looking at the clock, because then you start to think, I'm constantly looking at the clock and that's what you start to think about. But if you set your alarm, sometimes I've had this experience where I just get into it and I capture that something of that sensation, and then the alarm goes off and I go, "Ah, no, I don't want it to end yet." And sometimes the alarm itself will sort of throw me out of the state. Sometimes I'll turn it off and keep going and just give myself a little bit more time to kind of soak in that feeling. But if it's boring, I don't think you've quite hit the objective. And so I would really I don't really have a good recommendation as to how to make it not boring other than that, if it is boring, I don't think you've quite reached the right state. And so I would give it another shot, maybe give it a little longer if you've been trying five minute slots and that's not working for me personally, it's very hard to get into that meditative state in only 5 minutes. I feel like I can kind of calm myself down a little bit in 5 minutes, but really it's hard for me to get it in less than 15 or so.

And so if you've been doing, well, let me back up. If it's really hard for you to do meditation at all. Try with some very short time slots if you have been doing short time slots and that's not working, ho longer. But give this a shot. If at the end of the day, it's just not working and you've been doing like half hour stretches every time and you're just never capturing that feeling and it's just perpetually boring, you obviously don't have to do meditation. I think it's huge and I believe everybody should, but some people prefer not to. We had a previous podcast where we were talking about jui-jitsu and some of the emotional benefits of that and some of the conflict resolution benefits of that and basically all the objectives we have with Emotional Embuffination. And in that episode we described the fact that sometimes meditation doesn't work for people and you can use martial arts and jui-jitsu or whatever martial art you want to take as kind of another way to arrive at some of the same benefits of meditation. So, there's other options out there if this is just absolutely not working. But I would really encourage you to try. Give it a shot. Give it a fair shot. And if you have and it's still not working, that's fine. Try something else. So that brings us a wrap to the three questions that I had that I wanted to address today.

That's also going to bring us to a close on this particular season. Again, I'm actually excited about season two on this and I've already got plenty of things I've been talking to some people to interview. So it's I hope you join me with it and stick with me. Stay on. Hopefully if you're hearing this, there's already episodes from season two out, but I'm going to be returning, but I'm going to take a short hiatus, and so please come back after that. I hope that you found something in here useful. I hope that something I said today struck a chord or you were able to get some little nugget out of that. Remember, whether you're listening to the emotional embuffination podcast or not, whether we're in between seasons or not, you got to keep working on this stuff. In order to become emotionally embuffed This is not the sort of thing that you just do one time and you're done forever. This is something you keep working on every single day. Just like we don't go to the gym one time and you say you're done forever, you keep going, you go on a regular basis, you keep at it, you keep improving yourself. We keep doing that with our emotional states too. Ultimately what I want you to be able to say, instead of saying things like, "The struggle is real," I want you to shift into a mode where you are always saying, "What struggle?" Thank you all for listening. I appreciate you being on. See you on the next season.