Impossible? How to deeply rest when your mind is terrified 0 Have you ever felt trapped at night in terror? How do you rest in the face of a frightening situation you can’t control?Last Monday night, I was there. I called on every Restful Insomnia technique I knew, because I woke imprisoned in the fear of an upcoming earthquake.Predictable earthquakes?I live on the West Coast, so I’ve become accustomed to the possibility of earthquakes, been through a few, and I’m even kinda prepared.But right before bed, I saw a Facebook post that warned of an earthquake within a week, because of a large increase in carbon monoxide. The theory: The earth was “burping” before it shakes from San Diego to Vancouver, B.C. This wasn’t from any traditional news sources. So either the theory wasn’t scientific . . . or the websites were ahead of the journalistic curve. Didn’t matter.Dire scenarios shook my thoughts, emotion, and body. I played out every calamitous disaster that crossed my mind, then anxiously made a to-do list of what would make my family safe. Like insisting my son take uncool emergency supplies to work, buying my daughter extra food for her dorm room, getting dog food for the disaster stash, re-sending the out-of-state contact if local calls didn’t go through.Good stuff to do, but in the middle of the night? If I let my fear take the lead, I would have raced around for hours. Rather than noticing and renewing, safe in a warm quiet bed.Is this anxiety at night familiar territory for you? It certainly is for many of my clients.Oh how I wanted to sleep!My panicky state felt SO uncomfortable, all I could think of was getting away from it . . . to the unconsciousness of sleep. But sleep didn’t seem to be within a 100-mile radius.The Restful Insomnia techniques I was practicing helped me tiptoe into restful moments. But each time the rest faded, I was anxious and pissed that:My mind kept mind racing toward the terror I envisioned.I STILL felt a gnarly stomach, racing heart, tense jaw and muscles.I wasn’t asleep.Whoa, I reminded myself. This isn’t the point of Restful Insomnia. Another focusI needed to stop focusing on faithless, fickle sleep.What if I just savored the small moments when rest interrupted my panic spiral? What if I appreciated:Thinking about something different?Breathing easier?Unravelling my tummy?I did that, and soon each moment of rest was good enough – even though it wasn’t sleep. When rest faded, I didn’t let myself get smothered by overwhelming panic or anger. Instead, I returned to the Restful Insomnia technique. Or I practiced a new one, just aiming for another moment of rest.No matter which of the techniques I used – I’m guessing about 8-10 – they all worked when rest, not sleep, was my aim. And that turned the course of panic, breaking down the escalating fear and urgent plans. Anger and panic faded into the distance. Rest became the norm. Finally, I rested for longer and longer periods of time.From there, well . . . the door to sleep was open, and sleep did slip in. That would not have happened were I chasing it. Sleep was a nice bonus to a night that was already providing renewal and calm.Rest infused the daysBy letting go at night, I could also be calmer during the day. I could remember that:There’s only so much I can control.Earthquakes are not necessarily universally catastrophic.I miss out on life when I chase a problem that’s not mine to fix.So today I’ll go get some dog food. I’ll mention getting supplies to my son and daughter. And I’ll rest in the steadiness that is here right now. NewsImpossible? How to deeply rest when your mind is terrified2017-09-272020-06-24https://restfulinsomnia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/logo-2.jpgRestful Insomniahttps://restfulinsomnia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/seismograph_eel7t7c.jpg200px200pxRecommended PostsWays to get through these timesMiss Clavel and Insomnia Wisdom: Principles for Rest Have EvolvedAntidepressant Sleep Aids And DementiaCalmly driving on the wrong side of the roadLeave a Comment Cancel replySave my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.