Most people suffer from occasional sleepless nights. When the problem becomes chronic, it’s time to take action, but what do you do? You can get a prescription for sleeping medication, but they often leave you feeling worse the next day. You can try counting sheep or visualizations, but those techniques are limited in their effectiveness.
A fairly new technique that has proven to be effective for stopping unwanted thoughts is called Rapid Eye Oscillation Technique (REOT). You simply close your eyes and move them back and forth with varying degrees of rapidity depending on the context.
To help with sleep when you can’t turn your brain off, simply get into a comfortable position and slowly oscillate your eyes (move them back and forth) until you fall asleep. Doing so has the effect of clearing your working memory and clearing your unwanted thoughts, which allows you to fall asleep. It’s almost impossible to think of anything else while you’re oscillating your eyes, which is why it works.
REOT can also help with emotionally charged ruminations. Try to recall the stress inducing memory while oscillating your eyes fairly rapidly. You’ll find that doing so removes some of the emotion from the memory, which makes it less vivid and less likely to disrupt your day.