I’ve been feeling a lot of anxiety lately. I can pinpoint the causes in some cases. Some of it comes from my habitual procrastination, which I’m going to post about on Wednesday.
Some of it comes from things going on in my life.
However, I can’t always name the cause. I just feel it and experience it.
Some days I have anxiety in the 7 and 8 range. I’ve noticed that I feel it especially at night when I’m trying to go to sleep.
I’ve had trouble falling asleep. I’ve tried my usual tricks of reciting poetry and prayers and thinking positive thoughts, to no avail.
I toss and turn and watch the minutes, and then hours go by on the clock. My anxiety rises even higher.
I finally fall asleep, but wake up again and again throughout the night.
Then I wake up in the morning with anxiety, sometimes with my hands actually shaking.
Since my usual tricks haven’t been working, I’ve been trying to “sit” with my anxiety, as some of you fellow bloggers have written about, including Krystal Lynn.
Metaphorically speaking, much of my anxiety seems to settle in my chest and move outward to my arms and hands.
My heart doesn’t always beat fast, but I feel bursts of adrenaline. I feel hyper. I feel like something bad is going to happen. My arms and hands feel tingly and agitated, or sometimes numb. I can’t relax.
And, of course, my thoughts are racing, moving from subject to subject.
I’ve started concentrating on how my body feels. I focus on my chest and at first try to just experience the feeling without describing it to myself.
Then I talk silently to myself, describing how I feel, using words like afraid, antsy, adrenaline, dread, excited, wired.
I even used a thesaurus to come up with other words to use to describe how I feel: apprehensive, disquieted, distressed, jittery, taut, troubled and watchful.
And, in a surprise to me, it seems to work. I have awakened during the night, realizing that I fell asleep a lot faster than I thought I would. I use my self-examination tools again, and fall asleep again.
And I haven’t been waking up in the morning with as much anxiety either.
I don’t really understand how this is working. Accepting the anxiety and just concentrating on experiencing it is somehow easing it.
What are some ways you deal with anxiety with no apparent cause? What words describe your anxiety?