hmmm an ambitious title.
Anxiety is often like insomnia, and of course can cause it. When we can not sleep, it is often because of thoughts… those silly ones.. what if I didn’t water my plants today, did I lock the door, did I study the right topics, what if it rains, snows, what if it doesn’t… and on and on.. or more serious ones, I can’t pay my bills this month… I am going in for surgery tomorrow…
The mind will keep us awake for hours, sorting things out, we are trying to sleep so have released control of it. It is doing what it wants, like an unsupervised child, jumping from thing to thing in a toy store.
Anxiety is like this. We have released control and are allowing our mind to wander, to form thoughts that torment us. Most often those thoughts are not logical, not likely to happen, but we can’t turn them off.
Or can we?
with practice, we can.
The first tries may not go so well, it is something though, that practice will allow us success with.
So how do we do that?
For both insomnia and anxiety the same thing will work. We take control of our thoughts back.
The key is to involve our brain in this, get it interested, make it focus on this so it dismisses its housekeeping, it can do that when we are asleep.
It is a meditation of a sort, combined with breathing.
We start with a deep cleansing breath, very deep, filling our lungs right to the tip of our… well lungs, lol, not toes… they don’t go down that far, but take a breath as if they do.
Relax, let it out very slowly.
Let your body go limp, if you have muscles that are tense, tense them more for a moment and then let them relax, chances are you do. When we are anxious, our muscles are tense.
Keep the deep breathing going, deep breaths, hold for a bit and then let it out very slowly.
As you do this, think of your legs, your feet, one at a time, tense the muscles there, starting with your leg, hold it for a moment, and release as you exhale… then the other leg.. your tummy muscles.. arms, hands… back, neck.
Take a deep breath, tense the muscle and then release it as you exhale. Only think of this.
When you have finished, all the muscles are relaxed.. tis time to paint.
You can paint what ever scene you wish. lets try a meadow.
Picture it clearly in your mind… take a deep breath and hold it, release slowly. smile at the meadow, you did a good job.
now, lets add some trees…
Close or off in the distance… another deep breath and smell the grass.
I like water, so tis time to add a little lake, perhaps a stream too
Can you hear the water flowing? bubbling against the shore as it flows into the lake?
The air smells so clear and clean… take another breath
Perhaps add a little bunny rabbit munching on the grass.
Keep adding things, a sail boat, birds.. a child flying a kite
If you are trying to sleep.. soon you will doze off.
Anxiety will be pushed aside.
It may not be easy the first time, don’t give up.
Try another scene, a beach.. the ocean
a thick forest
a butterfly exploring a tree
lying under a willow tree looking at glimpses of the sky through the thick canopy
Control your mind, choose your thoughts.