Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anxiety Preventing You From Sleep?



Do you lie awake at night with your thoughts racing? Does every attempt to shut off your thoughts only cause you to feel more stressed out?  You are not alone. This problem haunts a large population of the world.  This problem is particularly difficult because the sleep deprivation you generated now increases your vulnerability to anxiety, causing the cycle to grow and repeat. There is hope. There are things you can do.
1.    During the day do things that increase your dopamine levels:
a.    Doing things that line up with your values
b.    Eat small amounts of sweet and salty foods
c.    Exercise
d.    Spend time with people who you are in a healthy relationship with
2.    Practice Thought Stopping
a.    When a negative thought comes into you head change the subject in your mind to something that is a good distracter, so you are not thinking about the previous negative thought.
3.    Challenge your thoughts
a.    Play out your anxiety producing thoughts and ask yourself:
                                          i.    What is it that I am afraid of?
                                        ii.    What would it be like if that really happened?
                                       iii.    Could I recover?/Would I be ok?/Would it really be the end of the world?
4.    Evaluate what you have control over
a.    If you determine that you have control over some of the items you are concerned about make a plan to resolve those conflicts.
b.    If you do not have control over it practice letting it go and being ok with any possible outcome, focusing on the pieces you do have control over.
5.    Look for the silver lining
a.    Even the worst of situations have positive things about them. Try and find what is positive about the situations that cause you worry
b.    When the negative thoughts come in replace them with the positive aspects of that situation. You will be retraining your brain.
6.    Try alternative methods to fall asleep
a.    Counting sheep
b.    Katie Saint’s personal unproven Star Method :
1. Close your eyes and picture a star
2. Follow the lines of the star with your eyes 
3. As you get tired of moving your eyes picture a ray of light tracing the edges of the star
4. Do this until you fall asleep
c.    Practice deep breathing
d.    Journal
e.    Meditate/Pray

Anxiety is causing people problems all over the world but it can be treated with medication and behavioral techniques. If you are willing to be intentional about your recovery, you can see progress but be warned it is never a quick easy fix.

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