Write Instead of Worry
Find freedom in your thoughts by communicating through pen and paper or the modern version, thumbs to phone.
“I can’t sleep because my mind won’t turn off.” At best this might be the most common expression patients communicate to me...at worse it’s used very frequently.
I hate to burst any bubbles, but lots of experts suggest the brain doesn’t turn off when a person goes to sleep. Don’t worry I’ll put away my cynical nature, but I had to throw it out there. Through this expression, I find patients communicating that they’re finding difficulty in controlling their minds.
So how can someone find relief from their continual worry? I hope in this article you’ll find helpful tips and answers to those questions.
The struggle to quiet the mind
First off, remember you aren’t alone. As I mentioned previously, several patients of mine struggle with quieting their minds. If you try these tips one night and find success don’t assume you’re cured, most likely this will need to be a daily practice.
I liken worry to a ball of yarn. Once it unravels, you’ll never put it back together. To stay with the analogy, how do we keep the worry together? Don’t let it unravel. So before bedtime, identify the number one worry that you’ve been thinking about all day and write it down or type it out, you decide on the form of communication you prefer.
This is important because in a sense you’ll hold worry accountable. Generally, worry is pretty good at taking you down rabbit trails of, What if this happens or that happens?
Writing down your number one worry
What if you started writing worry down? Perhaps by writing worry out and then with your eyes looking down at the actual issue or the potential issue, you can begin to evaluate the worry. You know, become bad cop with it!
I think everyone wants to be bad cop at least once, so this is your opportunity! Ask worry the tough questions! Besides aren’t you tired of worry always asking you the questions? I think it’s time for you to fight back!
Evaluating your worry
Now once you’ve asked worry the tough questions, you need to evaluate. Is the worry legit? If it isn’t, discard the worry. I understand that sounds simple. You might think, Will it stay discarded? Probably not. I say this to set your expectations.
So when worry charges back into your mind saying, "Pay attention to me," say no. Over and over again. Until worry stops.
You know this works and here’s why you know. You’ve told your child whose sibling is bothering him/her to ignore the sibling and they’ll stop. They always do. How did you know this? Experience. This works the same way!
What if the worry is legit?
If you have the problem recorded on paper, you can begin to problem-solve. In other words, be proactive. What can you do to solve the problem? I know you have imagination...worry has been using it for years. If you can’t figure out if worry is legit, simply ask an unbiased person.
I hope you find these tips helpful! What things have you found helpful over the years? Does worry affect your sleep at all?
Do you have any perfectionistic tendencies?