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14 Aug
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Stress in Bed

I remember, back in the days when life was a constant struggle, how going to bed was a blessed release from the worries and concerns of the day; and also how it brought with it the promise of a few hours of oblivion and peace. Then, without the least concern about how I was feeling, or how much I wanted to stay just where I was, morning would turn up and bring with it that burden of fear, anxiety, worry, and stress and another day that I would somehow have to get through.

Thankfully, for me, those days are long gone.

But it seems that, for many, this nightmare is still present.

A report commissioned by IKEA suggests that 1 in 4 people are experiencing anxiety before 8:00am, with many in the grip of stress even before 6:00 in the morning.

One of the many reasons for this is mobile technology.

In the good old days the bedroom was a haven. Nothing bad happened there. For many sufferers from anxiety it was a safe place to sleep and feel safe curled up, warm and cosy. A place to rekindle those good feelings from childhood where other people sorted out all the problems for you – maybe even a place to have a gentle read and enjoy escape into a fictional world for a while.

Now, with Smartphones, tablets and wi-fi the outside world is with us 24 hours a day. We can be called and messaged at any time of the day or night. Respect for our personal downtime has gone. Many employers expect their employees to be contactable at any time of day or night. Many of our friends also have the same expectation. I see facebook posts from friends in the same time zone as me at two or three or even five o’clock in the morning.

Because of this constant buzz of information there is also a drive to keep checking on all this stuff – to find out if there is something else that needs to be worried about.

All of this just adds to the stress and the worry.

We need a quiet time each day that is just for us.

A quiet time for a little true relaxation is rejuvenating. It gives the mind a break and allows it to access the resources that you actually have, but never get to realise because of the overwhelm that you constantly experience.

So if each day dawns with a pile of worries and a sense of being overwhelmed because there is just too much to do or scary stuff you just don’t know how to handle then make a decision now to do something about it.

Doing something means making changes and unfortunately change is one of the scariest and most anxiety producing activities we can engage in. But know this.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you have always got.

To create different outcomes you need to do something different. The easiest way to do this is to make a small change, get used to it, then make another small change and so on.

The changes I would like you to consider are about re-instating the sacred space of your bedroom. Make it a place for sleep, and if you have a partner, for intimacy. Leave your phone, or your tablet downstairs when you go to bed. Have a nice relaxing bath or shower before you turn in and then go to sleep. The world will not end if you fail to notice a facebook photograph of what your best friend had for supper. Don’t carry your phone with you wherever you go. Don’t sit in front of the computer all evening.

Nothing bad will happen if you are off the grid for eight hours. In fact you might even make turning the phone on the last thing you do before heading off to work. Try it for a week, and see how you feel. If nothing bad happens then carry on with the experiment for a little longer.

It doesn’t really matter what you do, but if you want to be free of worry, stress, or anxiety, then you need to reclaim you and establish some boundaries. You need to create for you a sacred space where you can feel safe and enjoy some peace.

And if switching off the world is just too scary for you then have a read of my book The Ten Commitments: For When the World Overwhelms You. This tells you how you can give yourself a one day holiday from anxiety and stress while still functioning in the world and doing what you need to do. It’s just for one day, but if you follow my suggestions it will open the door to a whole new way of living and being.











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