“It’s almost 12:30am and I can’t fall asleep. It’s a school night and I usually can’t sleep on school night for some reason, and on weekends I can fall asleep. I’ve tried your advice, many other different websites on how to get rid of scary thoughts and how to fall asleep fast. None have really worked. I am scared of zombies, etc. and I know they are not real, but they still freak me out a lot. I usually just close my eyes at night hoping to fall asleep, but I keep thinking there is some kind of demon looking at me. Please help! I’ve slept in my parents bed, but it’s even harder to sleep in there (and they don’t want me to sleep in there, they think I’m annoying lol). HELP!”
No such thing as zombies
You have to know with absolute clarity that you’re in no danger. When you think about zombies and get scared, then you are really seeing them as a threat to you and you will go in a “fight or flight” state, which is to save your life when there’s real danger. You MUST see these thoughts as silly/funny and that will help a lot in getting rid of them…
Exercise if scared
Once you’re in a state of fear, in that fight or flight state, your body is making adrenaline so that you can literally fight or run away. This makes you hyper-alert and makes your thinking illogical and reactive. So if you’re very scared and in a state like this, exercise is the best way to calm down, it’s the natural way to calm down, it’s what your body expects to happen…
As soon as it’s time to sleep, then go through every body part starting with your feet and feel it tingling. If any part is tense, then squeeze the muscle and relax. Like everything, the more you practice this, the better you’ll get at it.
Think about something else
Once you truly see your fear as meaningless, then it will be very easy to keep your mind off it because why would you give ANY attention to something meaningless? Keeping your mind off it will also stop you going into a high-anxiety state where you need exercise to bring you back to normal. If any thoughts come due to habit and association, then simply remember your new truth about it, and ignore. Do this consistently… every single time.
So what you need to do is see the truth; there are no zombies, you’re in no danger and see it clearly, understand it fully. Then ignore every single thought about it — pay attention to something else.
Don’t forget that how your mind works and your ability to control your thinking depends on lots of factors — your whole lifestyle.
Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.
It’s a simple, no-fluff guide that shows you both what to change and how to change.