Sleep Better – Dealing with Stress and Anxiety

Black and white striped material in a billowing fashion.

In a previous post, I introduced the topic of sleep disorders and how to cure insomnia in natural ways with a positive mental attitude. I have listed 10 ways to sleep better (the last three to be suggested by you…), and now I am going to discuss the first one.

Every night you go to bed with the burden of your daily activities: residual stress, anxiety, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. Therefore your first task is learning how to deal with stress and anxiety and how to manage your thoughts. In what way doing that?

2007 Stress & Anxiety Disorders Survey

This survey was commissioned by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) in order to examine the effects of anxiety disorders and everyday stress and anxiety on sleep, in the population of the Unites States. According to the final report, it resulted that:

  • About 70% of the adults admittedly experienced stress and/or anxiety daily;
  • About one-third of above (i.e. 20% of total) reported episodes of anxiety or panick attacks, or persistent stress or excessive anxiety daily;
  • About 50% of the people who experienced stress and/or anxiety acknowledged that it reduced the quality of their lives, at least moderately.
  • About 75% of above said they had sleeping problems.

Definitely, it means that more than one adult out of four say he had trouble sleeping due to stress and/or anxiety related to his daily life! Tens of millions of people: would you have ever imagined?

Most people with a stress-induced sleep trouble experienced it at least once per week, and more than half of them experienced it at least several times a week. About 75% of people affected by sleep problems  had also increased their stress and anxiety, as reported by the above survey. Moreover, about half of them said that stress or anxiety increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night, and reduced their ability to remain focused the next day.

Manage your mind

Basically, stress and anxiety accumulated during the day may cause great difficulty to “turn off the mind” when it’s time to go to bed, or sometimes may even provoke the awakening in the middle of the night, with an emotional state of panic, when a certain thought suddenly arises in the mind of the person asleep. Not rarely, both problems may occurs in the same person.

Such mental conditions seems to be uncontrollable, but the person who is affected by them can learn how to control them and manage his mind, thoughts and emotion, in order to largely reduce the most pernicious effects. The Law of Attraction is all about taking control over your thoughts: the more you practice it, the better you get. You really do have control over what you think about.

Calm panic thoughts

Let’s consider first the case of a panic thought occurring during the night.

Ask yourself: “Is there anything that I can do about it now?” Usually there isn’t much you can do in the middle of the night. If this is the case, tell yourself you will think about it tomorrow.

Deliver it to the Universe to solve. Say to yourself: “While I am sleeping, Universe shall find for me a solution to this problem.” Just leave yourself open to the possibility: you will be surprised how often solutions come by themselves.

Keep spare one ready good thought to soothe yourself and focus on that thought when panic tries to set in your mind during the night. Your strategy should be to counteract it, deliberately and consciously, by replacing the negative thought with a positive one, even if it is totally unrelated. It could be any, provided that it is really good for you.

It might seem difficult at first, but with practice you really will get better at it.


Stop worrying start living

A bit of worrying can be helpful in daily life, since it spurs you to focus carefully on the problem and to take action in order to solve it. But you don’t have to be preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, otherwise worry becomes a paralyzing habit which can sap your emotional energy, increase your anxiety and interfere with your daily life.

Anyway, chronic worrying is a mental habit of which you can get rid: you can train your brain to stay calm, to think positive and even to accept the fact that most of the events which occur in your life are out of your control, hence it’s completely useless worrying about them.

Moreover, most of the things we worried, have never occurred. There is an old tale about an old man on his deathbed, giving his son this good advice:

John, I have lived eighty years and have had many troubles, the majority of which never occurred.

The moral is obvious.

Why you keep worrying

Typically, you have mixed feelings about your worrying. On one hand, of course, your worries are troubling you, since you can’t sleep and you can’t get rid of all the pessimistic thoughts which haunt your head. But on the other hand, you also think your worries are even useful to you, because you say:

  • Maybe they’ll help me to find a solution.
  • I don’t want to overlook anything.
  • If I keep thinking a little longer, maybe I’ll figure it out.
  • I don’t want surprises.
  • I want to be responsible and provident.

How can you possibly get rid of your worries, if you keep on thinking that they are useful to you? In order to stop worry and anxiety really, you must give up your belief that worrying is positive and useful, even partially. In order to regain control of your worried mind, you have to:

Realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution.

This is the basic condition if you want to stop worrying and start living.

I would end this post here and split it into two, since the subject is vast and deserves attention. See you soon, and in the meantime, feel free to leave any comment!