HOW DO YOU SELF-SOOTHE?
A Self-soothing Recipe for Nighttime Freak-Outs
Having an anxiety disorder sometimes means that I get to wake up in the middle of the night feeling high anxiety or the beginning of a panic attack. These episodes can be triggered by real or imaginary concerns and fears. One way or the other, that’s certainly not the best way to spend my time in bed at night, especially when I should be healing and recovering my energy through peaceful sleep.
One of the most effective methods I employ to trick my mind into relaxing and falling back asleep is the same technique I started using years ago to help release sciatica and osteoarthritis pain: I soothingly guide myself to sleep with positive affirmations (silently, in my mind), as a form of self-hypnosis.
Although my affirmations are customized to different circumstances, I usually start repeating something along these lines, as I take deep breaths:
“I am not my body... I am not my aches and pains or health conditions...
I am not my mind...
I am not my fears...
I am beyond my mind and physical body...
I am health... I am wellness... I am wholesomeness...
I am perfect in my imperfection...
I am loved... I am loved... I am loved...
I am love... I am love... I am love...
I AM... I AM... I AM...”
Occasionally, depending on the level of anxiety, I have to repeat this exercise more than once to achieve the desired effect. More often than not, however, I fall asleep in the middle of the first set, as I start relaxing and feeling relief from anxiety and physical pain.
This simple technique is just as effective for daytime anxiety or panic. Although it’s often recommended that hypnotic suggestions are made as affirmations, rather than stated in the negative, in this case it feels empowering to first acknowledge limiting beliefs by denying them, and then affirm that which is true.
What self-soothing techniques are effective for you?
© Gisele Marasca-Vargas; 04/21/22
Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash
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A Message For Changing Times
In an age when we own so much and have access to so much more, why is it that most of us are so dissatisfied, unhappy and often depressed about our lives? And how can we change that? How can we take steps towards being rather than having or doing, towards happiness rather than misery? Among the different available paths, a lot of us turn to spirituality for answers, while still holding on to patterns of behavior and core beliefs that keep us stuck.
According to Sadhguru, an Indian yogi, mystic and author, we hold the key to our own happiness by understanding and following just a few basic principles. Here are three of them:
1) All the rules are our rules. We made them up or inherited them from others. We use those rules to create the cages that entrap us. The good news is that we can choose to change the rules that we have often unconsciously accepted and live by. We have the free choice to choose to be free.
2) Our responsibility is limitless. We are all responsible for how we create and react to the world around us. In many circumstances, our actions may be currently or temporarily limited; but not our responsibility for what happens. This is not about assigning blame; it’s about understanding the impact our own actions and reactions have on how we live, how we relate to others (and others relate to us) and, due to the fact that we are interconnected, everything else that is happening in the world around us.
3) This moment is inevitable. This very moment that we are living right now cannot be changed. And this one… And this one… And so on. We can start making different choices that will potentially change our future, moment by moment. But we have no choice but to accept the moment that’s happening right now, which is a consequence and accumulation of past moments, including the unconsciously accepted rules that created our inner world. It’s our resistance to this principle that causes a lot of our misery. If we are able to accept that basic truth, our lives can become a whole lot easier, and we can start taking steps towards feeling more content as we make different choices. Happiness is within reach!
FINAL THOUGHT: Just try practicing these simple principles as you observe yourself and the world around you. It can be a life-changing experience…
© Gisele Marasca-Vargas; 12/29/2018
Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash
Jaggi Vasudev, also known as Sadhguru
Sadhguru’s YouTube channel: