Night Time Anxiety Help:
Is your anxiety keeping you awake at night?
Night time anxiety can be very common as all those worries and anxious thoughts come flooding into your head with no where to go but round and round.
And whilst you may be able to keep distracted during the day, at night all those scenarios and what ifs can come flooding back when all you want to do is switch off.
So if night time anxiety is leaving you drained and exhausted then follow these six suggestions to send it packing.
Whilst anxiety can strike at any time of day or night, many people report being able to distract themselves more easily in the daytime by finding something to do, or someone to talk to, and shifting their thoughts.
Yet all those anxious thoughts can just be sitting there in the ‘pending’ tray at the back of your mind. And as soon as a quiet time comes, like at night, it’s like your brain goes into overdrive reminding you of all those things you haven’t yet thought about. With all that anxiety attached to those thoughts, your brain thinks they must be important and so it reminds you about them.
Yet all you want to do is switch off, relax and sleep. There is nothing to distract you, nothing to keep busy with and so they go round and round, leaving you tired, exhausted and frustrated.
If night time anxiety strikes you, here are my top six suggestions to stop it keeping you awake at night:
1) DAYTIME MATTERS
During the day we can often keep ourselves busy and there is plenty to do to distract us from any anxious thoughts. However, at night time all those anxious thoughts that were pushed away during the day can come flooding back into the distraction free space in your head.
Because these thoughts have so much dread and fear attached to them your mind considers them at the top of the ‘things to think about’ pile and will take the opportunity of any quiet time to remind you that these things are still waiting to be dealt with.
So part of the answer will always be to take steps to diffuse anxiety during the day rather than postponing it until night time.
Exercise, such as a brisk 10 minute walk, will help to diffuse any physical anxiety and leave you feeling more positive and relaxed.
You could talk to a supportive friend or colleague or spend 5 minutes writing down all the things that are making you feel anxious so you get them out of your head and onto paper where it is much easier to review them and decide what (if any) steps to take about them.
And many people find that taking ten minutes early in the evening to write down all the things they need to get done the next day means that these things are not swimming around their minds at night time.
2) USE THIS BREATHING TECHNIQUE
Anxiety gets us ready to take some action – to fight something or to get away. As we prepare to move, our breathing rate increases, our hearts beat faster, we start to get hotter, we become more alert to any threat and get all those familiar anxiety driven thoughts and symptoms.
To get your body to undo this you can kick start your relaxation system by making your out breath longer than your in breath. Breathe in for a slow count of 5 and out for a slow count of 8 repeatedly and you will start to feel more and more relaxed and your breathing will shift from being fast and in your chest to slow, steady and in your belly.
Do this and quickly diffuse any night time anxiety.
For the greatest value from this, I always tell my clients to practice it during the daytime, even if they already feel calm and relaxed, so that it becomes second nature by the night time.
3) GET IN THE HABIT OF A NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
So many people switch off a brightly lit screen, close their eyes and wonder why they aren’t asleep yet. All screens are a mental stimulant and, however physically tired you feel, your mind needs time to calm down too. Make it at least 45 minutes between looking at a screen and going to sleep.
And while you are at it, ditch using your phone as your alarm clock. Not only is it unhelpful to check the time on a bright screen but the temptation to check messages can become another way of waking yourself up and leave you wide awake, anxious and wondering about things you can’t do anything about in the middle of the night.
4) USE THIS MENTAL NUMBER HACK TO CALM ANXIETY
Anxiety thrives on the unhelpful use of your imagination, with all that anxious emotion finding more and more worst case scenarios for you to worry about.
The more the emotions are driving your thoughts, the more anxious you feel and the more awake you become.
An effective way to interrupt that river of anxious thoughts and get the more rational, logical part of your brain in control, start counting backwards from 300 in 3s in your head on every out breath (300…297…294..etc). If you lose track just start again. In just a couple of minutes you will feel calmer.
5) TAKE CONTROL
If you feel anxious, your imagination will always find something for you to worry about. Anxiety doesn’t like a vacuum so will find something, however unlikely or unrealistic it may be.
Creating super realistic vivid worst case scenarios in your mind, will leave you feeling anxious and full of dread, worry and fear.
So start taking control over your imagination by dulling down the impact of those scenarios. Make them black and white in your mind, smaller and darker. Imagine putting them on a TV screen as you look at them and then shrink it down to an iPad, then a mobile and then even smaller.
Some people find it helpful to imagine putting all those worries in a box in their mind, that they then padlock tightly shut until the morning. And others have found it really helps to imagine all those thoughts going through a sort of paper shredder in their mind and coming out in thousands of little pieces.
6) COOLING THE COMPUTER IN YOUR HEAD
I would always suggest that someone makes use of a relaxation audio to help them mentally and physically relax into sleep. There are many good meditation and mindfulness audios and you can grab my free Anxiety Relief audio that hundreds of people across the globe have used at night to calm their anxiety away.
Are you fed up of battling with your night time anxiety? Is it time to finally end your anxiety and get on with your life? Want to know how? Then take that first step by contacting me today and asking to book your free consultation. I’m looking forward to joining you in your journey to overcoming anxiety successfully.
To your success,