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Nighttime Anxiety

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

This post will cover the basics of nighttime anxiety, why it happens and what are some simple tools you can use to tackle this specifically.

Anxiety and panic attacks can often affect us at night, even if we aren't bothered by them in the day, or at least not as intensely. The reason for this is because usually we are more able to distract ourselves or keep busy throughout the day but night time, particularly before bed, is when our mind tends to seem louder. You know you need to go to sleep and you're not technically occupied with anything so it's when all those things you have managed to push away or ignore over the day, come out and want you to look at them.

One of the most effective methods for combating this is to take the time before you start your wind-down or bed-time routine, to do a thought-dump. This is a form of journaling which involves you putting pen to paper and letting your thoughts flow onto the page, without judging them, analysing them or censoring them in any way. It's a stream of your consciousness onto the page, making it tangible and emptying your mind of anything that may be rattling around in there, in need of attention.

For some people, the simple act of transferring their thoughts into black and white is helpful enough, however some people may need to go a little further. By all means, if you're more of a typer and getting yourself to physically write would be more agonising, then use your technology. The important thing is that you're comfortable with the medium. If even typing is not helpful for you, then try using voice notes; the kind where it translates your words into text is most helpful as it allows for easier engagement with what you've written afterwards.

You may need to set a timer for the dump but you may not feel that's necessary for you - do what's right for you. So, once you've done your dump and everything's there in front of you, you can see what you're dealing with. Some things you may find helpful to action right away and schedule them in your diary or planner, the to-dos basically. Other things you may be able to scratch off right there as nonsense, the thoughts you know you don't believe, the things you know in your heart you're being silly about. But then you may find you're left with the things that are actually causing a negative emotion, or perhaps they're genuine concerns but you have little to no control over them.

For those things you have little influence over, the one thing you can control is how you feel about it and how you choose to act because of it. This may mean accepting a difficult or sad situation for what it is and planning in more self-care time or time with another person. You may need to speak to someone about this thing and take comfort from someone else or ask others for support, or perhaps tell other people how they can help at this time.

With the things you do have some influence over, you may wish to schedule time to problem-solve or brainstorm about what you can do, and how you may start to change your attitude towards what is going on. Whether that involves other people who support you, can help or professionals. At the end of your thought dump session, you should be able to tell yourself that you have given what is in your mind time, and that you have made plans for things and your job now, is to focus on rest. Hopefully then, sleep will come...

You may find creating an anchor helpful, or reading some other anxiety tips, and my book, which is due for release in 2020, will contain a full programme for helping with anxiety and creating a foundation for your mental and emotional wellness; read more about it here. Also, I post regularly about mental health and wellness on my Instagram, this post is particularly related to nighttime anxiety and the tools that I use to help with it specifically.

Sweet dreams and be your true magickal self,

Sophie xo

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