Last week my GP told me that to ‘cure’ my insomnia I needed to: (1) Sleep uninterrupted for 8 hours a night, and (2) Get rid of the worry in my life. Oh how I laughed on the way home!! Aside from the fact my GP is deluded if he thinks that’s helpful advice, I particularly like the fact he felt sleep was a cure for insomnia.
In reality I know what would cure waking at 3am and that would be learning how to control my worrying. Since having kids I have turned into a huge worrier. I wake up and worry that my sleeping kids are unhappy/hungry/tired/falling behind/too confident etc. Then when I’m done with that I worry about money, debts, bills, and the future and finally I worry that I am going to go mad, worrying too much!
So I love it that this year’s Stress Awareness Day in November is all about worry and the fact that if you spend a lot of time thinking about negative possibilities, and developing exaggerated situations the result is everything from disturbed sleep to loss of confidence and an inability to cope.
The answer, say the experts is to try to see things differently, and develop a positive thinking style. Not so easy when the opposite comes so easily. However, in a quest to get some sleep and get a grip on worrying here’s what’s working for me so far:
1. Living in the present (not past or future) and bringing myself back to what’s going on right now every time a worry creeps in.
2. Talking over worries with friends and family – a problem shared is a worry halved!
3. Working out what’s a real worry, what’s imagined and what I’ve exaggerated.
4. Doing something about the worries that are real.
So what works for you on the worrying front? Are you a persistent worrier or someone who can cope? Let me know.