In order to help ease my anxiety, I have to distract myself. Moving around and being productive makes it a bit easier for me to ignore the worries that threaten to overtake my mind like a plague of ridiculously fast-moving ants.
(Here's a video I made discussing this very topic and some tips I found that helped me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HheB0BDFHc)
However, I can't move around 24 hours a day; there's a point at which I reach exhaustion. Sometimes that exhaustion helps to slow the pace of the ants crawling in, allowing me to evade them temporarily. At other times, I don't reach exhaustion, but I do run out of things to do, or I simply want to sit down and relax. It's during these times that I don't know what to do with my brain. How do I get it to shut up the bullsh*t? What should I think about, and how do I do that thinking in a healthy way?
I seriously want to know: What do normal people think about? Yes, I know that "normal" should be used loosely as we all have our little special idiosyncratic aspects to ourselves, but I'm truly curious about the people in the world who don't have a mental health issue/some type of mood disorder. What do these people think about in their down time? I have found that when I have down time, my mind likes to take what could have been a relaxing moment in my life and squash it into millions of tiny pieces of ruin. My mind teases, "Oh, you wanted to chill and enjoy your idle time? Ha! We'll I'm not gonna let you! Na na na na boo boo!" What an assh*le.
When I have time and space afforded me, I can't seem to enjoy it the way I wish to. Night time is typically the roughest part of the day for me, especially when I'm trying to fall asleep. The darkest corners of my brain invade the rest of it, and all the ugliest fears and worries intrude on what is supposed to be a restful time. I've laid in bed trying to focus on something else, something positive, but I honestly don't even know what to think about. When I do manage to find another topic to ponder, then the obsessions and anxiety-encroached thoughts come swarming in and distort it. How do normal people daydream? What do normal people think about when they're relaxing? I would really like to know. What goes through the minds of people who don't deal with a mental disorder?
Lately, this ugly orc-like army of fear-ridden thoughts has invaded my dreams while I sleep, turning them into the most vivid and horrific nightmares. Lately, worries that I thought I had conquered long ago have been resurfacing, and it's been making me sick inside.
I did have a breakthrough last night, however. For the first time in weeks, I was able to sleep sans nightmares. In fact, I actually had a good dream that I didn't want to wake from. I can't tell you the last time that happened. I don't know if it's because I placed healing crystals under my pillow or because of the new supplements I started taking, but I do know that I slept well for the first time in ages. I also played this game yesterday in which I chose not to shame and judge myself for the crap I was thinking. Practicing non-judgment and understanding allowed me not to focus intensely on the thoughts I detest; it allowed me to move on. Was it a combination of all these things that helped me have a good night's rest? I'm not sure, but I'm going to keep utilizing these tools in the hopes that the nightmare-less nights continue.
How do you do it? If you're normal, I'd love to know what you think about it in your spare time and how you manage to do it in a peaceful, pleasant, worry-free way.
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