During these times, there have been a few nights where I woke up feeling anxious and scared.
Is this happening to you, too?
In the past, I would lie awake, worrying, tossing and turning, and feeling the anxiety get worse and my body get more tense and awake.
And then my mind would create stressful stories one after another…and start creating strategies that might fix this problem…or I would get frustrated and be critical of myself for feeling this way when I needed to sleep!
Needless to say, this didn’t help at all.
Stress hormones - cortisol and adrenaline - would start pumping into my body, and I often couldn’t get back to sleep.
We have all been there. And I am sure a lot of us are challenged by this now too...
Here is a tool I learned to help calm down, relax and get back to sleep when this happens.
You wake up and you feel anxious. Become AWARE that you are feelings this way. Breath here, slowly. Don’t go into the story of WHY you feel this way. Just get aware and present with what sensations you feel in your body.
Ask yourself “WHERE in my body are the strongest sensations? What feelings in my body am I naming as anxiety? What are the qualities of this sensation?“
What we call “anxiety” is often a sensation of tightness, contraction, coldness, or even nausea. This can show up anyplace in the body. So - What sensations are you feeling and where are they strongest? Bring you mind and awareness there.
3- Be Present, Be Kind, Be Loving & Breath
Imagine these sensations as a little child, or a scared animal that you love. The first thing is comfort them. Wrap these sensations in your loving awareness, and hold them gently, just as you would a scared little one.
You can even silently say “I see you, I am here with you, I love you. You are safe with me. I understand how you are feeling. It is ok to feel this way.” Whatever feels most soothing to that part of you that is tight and anxious, hold it with your loving awareness. Breath.
Keep breathing and holding with love and awareness.
Notice that the mind may want to go into the “story” and strategies!
Keep returning to the sensations in your body, keep loving them with your presence and awareness. Keep breathing.
The sensations will most often soften, and dissipate. And you will be able to rest.
I hope this may be helpful to you! Please let me know in the comments below…
Are you a visual connector? Watch Harmony explain this on her Harmony Scott Coaching Facebook Page.