A friend of mine a few years ago began losing the blood in her arms.
I still remember how she shook back and forth, grabbed the chair and winced. She told us the feeling started to leave her arms. In my own battles with anxiety, I had never experienced this before.
Her girlfriend calmed her down by counting.
For many of us, our heads are a constant battle.
Something as simple as going to sleep every night has become a nightmare for most. People struggle to establish a sleep schedule, stay asleep during the night or have such racing thoughts they can’t get to sleep in the first place.
The problem is, most of us are missing what sleep is at a basic level.
But more importantly, it’s a time for your body to slow down and recover. It sounds basic, but most of us aren’t any good at it. In order or us to sink into sleep, we have to be grounded in our environment. One of my favorite techniques I use to sleep in more quiet places is a simple meditation.
Now, I didn’t know I was meditating at first.
And it’s really not too difficult. When my thoughts race, I begin listening to the room around me. The soft lull of the ceiling fan or the small footsteps of someone walking around the house is usually enough to knock me out.
Of course, there are nights this doesn’t go well
I’ve found myself frustrated with this technique in the past. Sometimes our mind really does need something to focus on. That is why something like a simple grounding technique is so helpful.
Take a moment to simply start counting things.
Yeah, count stuff.
By focusing your mind on a small, easy task, your mind starts to wander from those pesky racing thoughts. For example, you may begin by counting the number of light bulbs you have in the room. Or maybe the blades on your ceiling fan.
Get your senses involved too. Count the things you can touch. Count the smells. Sounds. What you tasted during your last meal.
Follow this up by picturing other places you know well. Maybe your office or your kitchen and begin counting things in those spaces as well. Before you know it, your heart rate has dropped and the thoughts have passed.
Employ this technique with a friend or relative if need be. It might just be a life saver.
Our minds are so powerful.
But they can also be our worst enemies if we let them. In a world where we’re bombarded with images, news, and peer comparisons, it’s important that we have practices to keep our mind and spirit healthy.
And hopefully keep those pesky panic attacks away too.