As someone rightly said: “The biggest critic lives in your perception of people’s perception of you (not people’s perception of you)”.
This reminds us that in spite of our incredible diversity, we humans are much alike.
We’re social creatures who want to be liked. It gnaws at our souls when we feel someone thinks badly of us.
These are the notions that plague me at 3 am when I can’t sleep.
“Did she think I meant…?”
“Oh no, I can’t believe I said…!”
“He must think I am stupid for saying…!”
Sound familiar? And what do we do about it?
I’ve found three remedies for the 3 am insecurity attack. They could work anytime your “perception of people’s perception” worries you.
1. Meditate or Pray
Clear your mind of all the clutter. If you practice meditation, it gets easier over time to re-boot your brain. You can control your nervous and tense feelings by practicing meditation on a daily basis. Although we already knew that meditation can help people feel less anxious, we didn’t know what brain mechanisms were involved in anxiety relief in healthy people.
During meditation-related anxiety alleviation, we were able to see which parts of the brain were active and which were deactivated in this study. Anxiety alleviation with meditation was linked to activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and anterior insula, according to brain imaging. These are the areas of the brain involved with executive function and the control of worrying. Meditation definitely stimulated these areas, resulting in anxiety reduction for research participants.
If it’s too hard to turn off the thoughts by yourself, you can queue up a recorded guided meditation. Let Deepak Chopra or Louise Hay escort your thoughts down a more pleasant route.
Or have a nice chat with God. Remember those nightly bedtime prayers? Turns out, that’s an awesome way to find peace.
2. Read a book
If my mind is perseverating on nonsense, often I will pick up a book and lose myself in the minutiae of the tale before me. Or if fiction can’t capture my racing mind, a good non-fiction book can pretty much always do the trick.
Instead of lying awake until late at night, wondering why sleep is eluding you, catch up on some reading; all you need is a reading light and some reading material. Reading has been shown to help you relax and reduce stress. Reading also allows you to disengage from your technological gadgets, which can help to reduce anxiety. It allows you to concentrate on one thing rather than being tugged in numerous ways, allowing you to get the alone time you require.
Stories allow you to shift your mind to another location for a short period of time. This implies you can forget about your problems. Reading also enables your muscles to relax and slows down your breathing, leaving you feeling calmer. I like self-help, feel-good books but I have one friend who can only relax reading dry, boring (to me) war history books. Whatever works for you!
Read also: 9 “Harmless” Habits That Fuel Your Anxiety
3. Write It Down
Finding a healthy manner to express yourself is one of the strategies to deal with any overwhelming feeling. As a result, keeping a diary can help you manage your mental health. Journaling has long been recommended as a fantastic way to reduce stress and worry, particularly during the covid epidemic.
I am not suggesting, journaling is alternative for professional help especially when anxiety is severe, but it can supplement other types of treatment or serve as a stand-alone symptom management technique for people with mild depression.
I keep a journal next to my bed. If I awaken and just can’t get back to sleep because I’m upset about nonsense, I write down my worries.
Nine times out of ten, that will do the trick. I tell myself in Scarlett O’Hara style, “I will worry about that tomorrow.”
And guess what? When tomorrow comes, I am usually amazed that I was so worked up for such a silly reason. The light of day seems to banish most fears.
Read also: How To Express Yourself?
One final thought… If you really can’t sleep, maybe it’s time to get up and start your day. It sure beats lying in bed, beating yourself up over inconsequential matters.
What are your ways to slay the 3 am dragons? Let us know in the comments below.