One Secret Tool to Deal with Anxiety and Improve Your Sleep
Have you ever had this feeling that your head is ready to explode from thoughts, anxiety, questions, things to worry about and make decisions on? Have you ever had your “management meeting” at night—when you suddenly wake up and start endless “conversations” with your clients or family members, your board of directors or subordinates, your stakeholders or business partners?
Join the club.
I asked few executives recently how do they rewind their brains. Some of them laughed and said they would pay a lot to know how to do it.
Here is one of my favorite tools – I call it “Anxiety List”.
Anxiety List — Step 1
List all anxieties which come to your mind. Use your mobile or tablet, a piece of paper & a pen. Do not overthink, capture everything you worry or feel unease about.
While you are creating the list, you “verbalize” your apprehension. Through “linguistic reconstruction” you’re actually moving your anxieties from the emotional processing to the logical one. That shapes the size of your worries which otherwise would take a lot of space in your emotional brain. As a matter of fact, simply creating the Anxiety List already helps.
Anxiety List — Step 2
Ask yourself: which items are in your control? Look at those items. What could be done? Again—do not overthink. Capture ideas. If nothing comes to your mind, ask yourself again: “Is it in my control or outside of it?” Continue identifying the items from Anxiety List, which are in your control. Keep capturing actions which come to mind.
List of “Actions” immediately releases pressure on you, through reorganizing and redirecting your thoughts. When you start planning, your anxiety continues shrinking. Consequently, your brain has more space for creativity, that makes your see new choices. It empowers you envision possible solutions and move towards them rather than waste your energy on apprehension.
Anxiety List — Step 3
Acknowledge that there are items in your Anxiety List, which are out of your control. You may like it or not, but you cannot control everything in this world.
Awareness that there are things you cannot change gives you additional resources to become calmer. It often follows by acceptance which works like a valve releasing the emotional pressure. With that awareness and acceptance, you come to realize that you do not want to waste your energy on these items on your Anxiety List.
Seemingly Simple, this tool is actually very powerful. Working with Anxiety List makes you calmer, enables you focus your energy on what you can control and equips you with the plan. Come as no surprise that it significantly improves your sleep.
“I just wanted you to know—that after a week of starting to address these anxieties using your method, I do feel better. And my sleep improved”, wrote one of my clients two weeks ago. This made me smiled happily. I know—it works.
Save these as an inspiration for later!