“I’m only a teen, and I talk to somebody about my anxiety issues. She said I have high anxiety, and I also have nightmares. I HATE being alone. Even in my own house. I’ve talked to my therapist about meditation, deep breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation. But when I get to sleep and wake up from one of these nightmares, it just makes me sweat and breathe faster and faster. Tips?”
Happy Guide includes relaxation and meditation as part of a complete health system that gets to the roots of nearly all our suffering. So please read Happy Guide as your first step and you’ll see very clearly, the causes of health problems, what to do about it and most importantly… how to do it.
All problems have many factors, so you need to correct all factors to find the true cure and be happy and healthy. Happy Guide will show you what all these factors are and how to correct them.
Normally, I would say if you feel very anxious, the best remedy is to exercise. That’s because your body goes into a “flight or flight” state and so it basically prepares for exercise, to enable you to fight or run away, so it’s the perfect natural solution…
But if you wake from a nightmare, it’s not practical to exercise so in that case, you go immediately into the relaxation method, which takes attention away from worries, and away from giving the nightmare meaning and importance and right away to relaxation, the thing that will help you most. Breathing into a paper bag for say 30 seconds can help if you’re hyperventilating.
You also need to look at your fears with reason, logic, to see clearly that the fear is dysfunctional. Fear of being alone is quite natural in that we’re wired to be with others, especially if we sense danger. So this can start by having a fearful reaction to being alone and then giving it much more meaning than it deserves and so amplifying it and making it a much stronger reaction next time… and so it can build like that.
So by looking at THE FACTS of being alone, that there really is no significant danger, no more than in lots of other situations like crossing the road that you don’t worry about, then it becomes very clear that it’s something you should let go of. You’ll be able to see being alone in the right light — no significant risk. And then by making this thought clear and bright and returning to it every time, you can tell your unconscious mind a new truth — nothing to worry about, stop telling me about this.
This happens if you’re consistent in telling your mind “nothing to worry about.” And gradually, the reaction eases and soon enough stops coming or comes only in a very mild way that is not a problem.
So you can train yourself to turn away from this fear, to give it a new meaning by logic at first and then remembering your new decision about it, and then removing attention… put your attention somewhere else. All this adds up to ignoring.
If the fear is too intense to deal with in one go like this, then you can use another way as well, which is gradually increasing the amount of time you’re able to be alone, using all the other methods as well, so that you don’t face your fear all in one go, but bit by bit, gradually increasing your “comfort zone.”
As always, it’s a multi-pronged strategy to get back to health and happiness…
- Think about what can be done on a practical level to help you feel safe… maybe self-defense classes, reasonable security measures around the home. Feel SAFE.
- whole lifestyle so that you’re feeling the best you can, using and getting good at relaxation and meditation and all the rest.
- Use REASON to re-frame your fear — to see it’s no more dangerous than crossing the road, and so something to FORGET about.
- Get to forgetting by consistently remembering your new truth about it when it comes (nothing to worry about) and then removing attention, consistently — ignore.
- Have more useful reactions planned if the fear does take hold, have a plan… exercise, relaxation, breathing into a paper bag.
- Face your fear bit by bit and move into comfort with it, if you need to.
Get clear about all this… what you are going to DO, that alone will give you a massive sense of RELIEF which in itself will help this go away. What you’re doing is getting really CLEAR about the NEW WAY, how it’s going to be from now on.
Clarity is a wonderful thing… then you set about doing it, see that it’s going to end your problems and take you to a happy place. Please do leave a comment if you need more clarity about anything.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
Read Chapter 1 “The Happiness Secret”
Or get the paperback…
Keep in touch
Get inspiration in your inbox from Happy Guide…