Anxiety at night

Chaeedy asks…

“I’ve been practicing the meditation 5 days a week (weekends are tough) in the morning, and it seems to be making a difference. Was feeling better, living in the ‘Now’, and to be honest, much fewer thoughts (in fact, very few).

But over the last 2-3 weeks I’m fine during the day, but when I turn off my light at night, I get this overwhelming anxiety/dread/terror feeling. It’s nothing specific, just the feeling. I don’t let my mind dwell/race on some concerning thought (staying in the now) so it’s not that. But it’s brutal! It just doesn’t seem to make sense… Any ideas/suggestions?”

© Remara

I assume your soul is tidy?

i.e. you aren’t viewing your life in any way as unacceptable or stressful, and you see that a thing only matters inasmuch as it moves you towards or away from health and peace of mind…

So, assuming you aren’t fueling the fire with insane thoughts about success, and that your good health habits are in place, then we’re left with old conditioning.

You’ve been giving your mind fight, danger and stress thoughts for a long time, and even when we make a different choice, the old pattern continues for a while.

You need to simply not care that it’s there and see it for what it is… old stuff playing out. Then focus on Happy Guide’s relaxation method when you get into bed and do it every night…

Don’t worry about the anxiety coming. See it like an annoying song on the radio… it’s there, you can’t do anything about it but if you get annoyed, give it attention, give it meaning, analyze it, make it a problem, resist it, try to hold it down, engage in any way, then it just make it bigger in your awareness. Always with things we don’t want is to allow (let it be), not care (let it go), remove attention.

So don’t care about the anxiety. This tells your unconscious mind that there is a new situation, the old thing no longer serves and it will die away gradually. It tells your mind “I see you, thank you but no thanks.” Your mind is giving you what you asked for years.

By consistently not caring and removing attention, we reprogram the old trigger/association and auto-redirect the energy to what now serves us best. Soon this new habit will play out instead.

So put your effort and focus behind relaxation… moving your awareness through your body, stopping at each part for 20-30 seconds and leave the anxiety alone.

You may also find that if you remove all attention from old worries, that they appear vividly in dreams. That’s all okay and normal. It takes time for your mind to adjust to the new you and the new way but if you are consistent in new decisions, in new ways of being, your mind will quickly settle down.

The clearer you see what is and what to do, the firmer your decision, the more unshakable your resolve, the more consistently you apply it, the faster you can change.

Oh, and the fact that it’s just a feeling and is not triggering thoughts means great progress!

Best wishes,
Michael Kinnaird

16 thoughts on “Anxiety at night

  1. Thanks, will do. Oh, and by the way, I never thought I’d say this, but to be honest, I REALLY don’t enjoy drinking that much anymore. Yes, still like the occasional glass of wine, but not every night, and DEFINITELY don’t like getting drunk any more. Not fun, fattening, and all the other obvious reasons… :-)

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  2. Tell her that she can’t find who she is by thinking.

    She can’t be an idea or defined by words. Honey defies description, so much more so a human being. To know herself, experience herself, be herself deeply, in meditation. That’s the right direction. Please do give her this message :-)

    You did good at the game, totally the right reaction but we must get to the causes… lack of sleep, too much alcohol. And we have less self control, less choice if we’re tired/stressed/drugged… the old patterns become more automatic and it’s harder to redirect them.

    That why it’s always a multi-pronged strategy because everything affects everything else. The great thing is that even tired and drugged, you did it right.

    Have a great one yourself dude. Enjoy (in joy :-)

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  3. Thanks buddy! Yes, slow but steady…

    Funny, I was at a baseball game last night and a couple of things happened which really stuck in my mind:

    First, as I was watching the players warm up, I started to have one of my old harming thoughts regarding one of the players.

    The thing is, before the game, we had a going-away thing for someone at work, so I had had a few drinks. Well, it was end of the week so I was already tired (I never sleep well :-) and you combine that with the alcohol, and boom, there you go again.

    The thing is, now i realize the way it works. You’re at a game alone, mind is wandering/looking/analazing, etc, you’re tired, and a bit drunk, so FIRST, you get a physiological reaction (say pit in stomach) which is really just the combo of fatigue and alcohol. SECOND, your “mind” goes, “whoa, something is wrong…look for a reason”, and THIRD, you create the thoughts to justify it, hence last night.

    The key is not to fight it. Just watch it, don’t analyze it, then focus your attention elsewhere and let the thought pass.

    Funny, when I got home late, I checked the mail… a bunch of bills… more and higher than I expected. Before I would have tossed and turned all night thinking about it, with the added constant anxiety.

    Not last night; there initially was a bit, but I said “let it go… deal with it tomorrow”. I still do have those bad habits, but it’s FINALLY coming along (thanks to you).

    The other interesting thing last night was I was talking to a friend’s wife about the friend. He just found out that he has prostate cancer, but hopefully they caught it early enough so he will be OK.

    Juxtapose that with the fact that his wife AWAYS used to be miss corporate, work first, etc. Last night she said “I really don’t care any more about work… I have much bigger priorities” which was great, but then she also said to me… “You know, I really have no idea who I am”.

    WOW! I just smiled at her and said “I can totally relate”.

    Anyway, thanks again Mike. Still have a way to go, but I definitely am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Have a great weekend!

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  4. Sounds perfect… make the BEST of things. You have a wonderful life Chaeedy, it’s a shame to ruin it by training your mind to focus on what you don’t like, by constant habitual worry.

    Instead focus on what you do like, let go, appreciate, and for the future “wouldn’t it be wonderful if…” If you choose to think, think thoughts that feel good but be sure to spend most time not thinking, living in the moment.

    Simple stuff.

    Seems to me you know where you’re headed.

    There is nothing in your life that would prevent you experiencing constant joy now. The only fly in the ointment is you: bad seeing, judgements, ego and bad habits. Awareness is the cure, meditation.

    Catch yourself in the old pattern and stop it by intense listening and refocusing on your doing, your flow. Then soon, the old pattern will stop repeating and you’ll be free of it. It’s all very simple stuff Chaeedy, you just have to SEE it, have faith in it and DO it.

    You’ve made amazing progress my friend, lots of a-has and realizations. Slow but steady :-)

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  5. Very true. I need to get out of where I’m currently living… in the meanwhile, you’re right; I just need to make the best of things.

    I should focus on that instead of ruining the “present” by thinking of all the negatives and what I’d do in the future…

    Thanks Mike

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