When was the last time you slept through the night? Do you have a constant stream of anxious chatter running around your brain during the day? Have you felt like this for ages, and not wanted to address it, or seek help, fearful of what you might find?
You’re not alone. Freeform anxiety and insomnia are the sorts of “Pesky’s” that bug us, but we don’t really do anything about them. Maybe we see ads online/TV, for miracle drugs that promise to address sleepless nights, but we don’t get to the underlying cause, so our waking hours are filled with worry instead.
The modern malaise
It’s true, the modern world is full of things to worry about (if you choose to do so). But if your basic needs are met, pause and count your blessings. Then take a break from worrying and focus on the task at hand, with a little organization. Do you have enough to eat today? Do you have a place to sleep? Because not everyone can answer yes to those two fundamental questions. If you do – take a moment to feel grateful (bet that anxiety is easing already, right?). Now let’s get into action.
Get practical. Is there a specific reason for your anxiety? Are you in school and have a test coming up? If so, stop panicking (it’s such an energy drain). Block out some time in your schedule and commit to buckling down with the books. Slow and steady progress is key.
Are you the sort of anxious type who thinks big? Do you spend hours fretting about the state of the nation, or whether robots will take over industries in one fell swoop? Be honest with yourself about your worrying – is that how you want to spend your life? Or are these “huge problems” masking small (but not insignificant) personal concerns?
For example (on the robot question), do you worry that your skills are becoming rapidly outmoded? If so, look into retraining for something else at your local community college or check out online courses to expand your brain – and horizons.
When to seek medical help
Worried that your anxiety might be clinical in nature? That’s possible. But do something about it. Don’t just let the thought grow in your poor head. The Mayo Clinic makes several good recommendations on how to identify whether medical intervention is needed. Another useful resource is the ADAA [Anxiety and Depression Association of America] – they have a self-screener section and a list of certified and approved counselors.
If you do need professional help, ask for it.
But if you’re anxiety-ridden and it’s just become a habit you put up with, face it head-on, focus on the cause, take action, then let it go. Life is too short, lighten up. And get some sleep.