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My anxiety is keeping me awake

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By : Vik

4 months ago

Our daily activities often keep us busy and prevent us from thinking too much about the things that make us anxious.  And that's fine!  But here's the thing: everything seems to crawl back to us when we go to bed... 


As soon as we close our eyes and turn off the lights, the Pandora’s box opens and one thought follows another! But in order to fall asleep, it's good to be able to think of nothing for just a few seconds. 


But how can you “think about nothing”?  


One trick to thinking about nothing is to focus on one thing, sometimes repetitive. That's why in the old days we used to count sheep, which we visualise in our heads, jumping over a fence. And it really works! But if we want to try something else, we can do a visualisation exercise, something that will keep us focused, even for a very short time: a beautiful beach we know well, for example, or another beautiful place that is close to our heart, or even an imaginary place! As long as we feel good there. 


If you feel like you can't do it, you can also find a nice place on the internet, print the picture, and put it on your nightstand to soak it in before you turn off the light. 


Beware of the pitfalls: it sometimes seems easier to fall asleep with the TV on or by watching a TV show until you fall asleep. The light emitted by screens disrupts the secretion of melatonin produced by our brain. This hormone, secreted by the pineal gland, provides us with a real restful sleep. The ideal way to help our brain to secrete it, is to put all screen devices away at least an hour before going to bed.  


A good book perhaps? Personally, I have just finished "Hector and the search for happiness" and I really enjoyed it! Not only is it a fascinating and easy book to read, but it also gave me a new vision of happiness. 


Giacomo Di Falco, psychologist at the University Hospital of Lille 

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