Peace of mind
Eliminating anxiety and stress permanently is equivalent to modifying the structure of a house. Such fundamental change can be carried out, but only with care and little by little. If done properly, it will not weaken the building. The resulting edifice will offer additional space and a more pleasant environment to live and rest.
Dozens of self-help books propound auto-suggestion as the key to achieving success in life. Even if that promise proved true, would it also put an end to insomnia? Let us not forget that sleeping well is a direct consequence of achieving peace of mind, which must come from consistent thinking. For this reason, I submit that the best way to attain serenity and a good sleep at night comprises five elements:
- Identify your most important problem and write it down.
- Find out who has solved a similar problem satisfactorily and how he did it.
- Study the solution, adapt it to your life, and make a detailed plan.
- Start implementing the plan right away by taking the first step.
- Follow up your progress and remind yourself daily that you are on the track to recovery.
A helpful approach
A dramatic example will illustrate the process. Imagine an individual who has just been diagnosed with cancer. He is told that his illness is in a beginning stage and that he has sufficient time to explore different treatments with good prospects of recovery. On hearing the news, his anxiety mounts and, at night, he has difficulties to sleep.
Such situation leaves little doubt about what your most important problem is. Taking sleeping pills, assuming that they are not contraindicated for cancer, may help you get a few hours of rest, but will not reduce your preoccupation during the time you are awake.
The rational approach starts with gathering information about available treatments, reading success stories, and possibly talking to some of those who have recovered. Once you choose a path of action with reasonable chances of success, you will begin to turn your deep worry into a hopeful uncertainty.
As you learn more details about the treatment, your mind will progressively consolidate a schedule of events. You will know what you have to do, at which time, and the results that you can expect. In parallel, your general mood will improve. Your newly-found positive anticipations will lead to regained self-confidence.
Implementing your plan, tracking your results, and making any necessary adjustment in your actions, will in most cases reduce your anxiety and stress. This process should naturally lead to better rest at night without need of sleeping pills. In addition, you will be now equipped with a higher level of self-reliance that should benefit all areas of your life.
Does it sound difficult? No wonder, because few endeavours are as demanding as changing our fundamental patterns. A victory over insomnia without resorting to sleeping pills usually results from facing effectively a major problem in our lives, whether professional, medical, or in relationships. May your success be uncontested so that, after a while, you will remember all this just as another milestone in your personal growth.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
Image by Jeff Kubina under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us