Do you ever wake up in the morning some days with ‘The Fear’ and no fricking idea why?
It might start with a wee thought….then that panic feeling, like you’ve forgot something. It reminds me of waking up after a boozy night out and trying to frantically remember what you did 🙂
It then builds as you search for reasons why you are feeling panicked (normally they’re ain’t any)…. At this point I know for sure that if I don’t get a hold of it then…. guaranteed I will find some.
It’s all the “What if…..” Scenarios, that usually get me thinking ‘crazy thoughts’ – they are always about what could go wrong.
Then the doubts, the judgement, the criticism and the comparisons wants to enter the party…… and before I know Mrs Paranoia is chapping at the window.
If this sounds familiar then I want you to know that it is perfectly normal, actually it’s a sign that your brain is healthy and doing it’s job. ‘What job’ I hear you say….. the one to keep you safe from danger.
When you first wake up your brain isn’t fully activated, so it is like a grumpy teenager (and we all know what they can be like in the morning!). You can’t guarantee what mood they will be in and they are so easily triggered. And this is exactly how your brain can be, so we need to be aware of this and understand what is happening when it kicks off and starts talking nonsense to us.
Personally I don’t listen to anything my brain says until I have either showered, worked out or had a strong coffee.
You see the easiest place for fear to show up is in those early hours, when you’re not thinking straight and vulnerable to ‘amygdala hijack’ – yeah it is a real thing. This is when the part of your brain (amygdala) which is the gate keeper for your safely takes over because it thinks you don’t have any answers. It believes it needs to keep you safe, but in effect it puts you into a fear loop, and this is when you jump into the cycle I explained above. Thankfully there are things we can do to prevent it getting to this stage.
Life, especially right now, is a constant series of changes, challenges and choices, all great breeding grounds for fear. Now I am old and wise enough now to know and accept that I will get challenged over and over again and that fear will show up…. But instead of resisting or running from this I follow this simple process.
If any of you feel “the fear” then try this out and let me know how you get on.
- Recognise it and Stop it in its tracks. – remember don’t listen to yourself until you have given yourself time and opportunity to wake up fully.
- Get Perspective (look at the much bigger picture) – war in Ukraine certainly gave me this.
- Breath…. Always helps, especially BOX breathing.
- Notice the pattern that is going on (back track over your thought process and see how you turned a simple thought into a crisis)…even recognising it as a pattern will interrupt it
- Remind yourself of what IS going well (even if it is just getting out of bed)
- Consider getting additional support if it keeps showing up.
I am always here to help, just reach out.