365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
344. In the silence you find…..
In the silence I find….. that my anxiety often is on heightened alert. For me, silence just brings about a time for my brain to go into overdrive. When my brain is in overdrive, I start thinking about all the things I need to do, should be doing or have to remember to do. This causes anxiety as all of these thoughts tend to bring on an overwhelming feeling.
I don’t usually have to many situations when I actually find myself in silence. From the moment I walk up to the time I fall asleep, there is some form of noise stimulation happening around me. I’m that type of person that has to fall asleep at night with the TV on. If there is complete silence, I will stay awake most of the night with a racing mind. I’ve read that sleeping with the TV on produces a less “productive” sleep. I can understand how that can be true. I do tend to have dreams about things that are related to what is happening on the TV while I’m sleeping. So clearly my subconscious is remaining active while the TV is on, which means that I am probably not in as deep a sleep as I should be. However, the reverse of that is if the TV were not on, it would take me a very long time to fall asleep, so I wouldn’t be getting good sleep then either. EIther way I go, I’m not going to get good sleep, so at least when I fall asleep with the TV on, I don’t have to worry about panic attacks and anxiety issues.
I remember once several years ago, my doctor sent me to a “mindful meditation” class that was supposed to help elevate some of my stress and anxiety. I managed to make it through 5 of the 10 classes. As we sat there being instructed on how to “turn off our minds” and just focus on our breathing, I would last about 5 seconds and then my mind would wonder off and start thinking about things like.. “don’t forget to get bread at the grocery store next time you go”… or “Remember to pay the cable bill tomorrow”. The person teaching the class said this was totally normal and when this happened, you were just supposed to pull yourself back into focusing on only your breathing. I would do that, and within 5 seconds, I was thinking about work or errands or some random worry that would then bring on anxiety. It was clear to me that meditation was not going to work for me. I wanted it to work, but my mind does not stop long enough for me to be able to find any relaxation or stress relief from it.
I will never forget once time we went to visit family that lived up in a small mountain town. One of those towns were all the houses are miles away from “downtown”. So at night, there is complete silence. I’m a city girl so I even late at night, there is rarely complete silence. There is always the sounds of airplanes above or cars driving down the street. Here, however, there was nothing other then the sounds of crickets. The room we were sleeping in did not have a TV (nor would be rude enough to sleep with the TV on when visiting someone else’s house), so we just lay there and had to laugh because we were just amazed at how something as simple as silence was so rare to us.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I will always be someone with an overactive mind. I will never be one that finds peace from silence. So, I will just continue sleeping with the TV and listening to music to help me fall asleep when we are camping. That’s just a part of who I am.