Friday, 18 May 2012

Mares of the Night Variety

Image from
I couldn't get to sleep last night.

Everything kept echoing around my head, you know? Like, I'd had an Irish test earlier on and I kept remembering all the phrases, and I was really nervous about a choir competition we attended today, and I'm worried I won't have anything to do over the summer and I'll just spend twelve weeks in my room again.

Sometimes everything builds up inside my mind and rushes round and round, so that I can't give anything my full attention. I hate it when this happens. My brain feels like barbed wire, and it hurts to focus. I toss and turn in distraction, hoping everything will just disappear, and leave me be. This never happens, of course.

So lately I've tried some new tactics. I am attempting to just focus on my breathing, to relax and think of nothing other than each slow inhale and exhale. I don't really know if that could be called meditation, but it is certainly calming. It feels good to forget everything for a couple of moments.

Keeping my room tidy has helped as well, I think. Now my mind is no longer filled with the guilty knowledge that I really ought to pick up my clothes and books. It's one less thing to worry about, when my life sometimes seems filled with nothing but.

image by dorina dubceac
I also find it beneficial to put my worries into perspective. It's true that I'm something of a perfectionist, and I constantly fret about past mistakes, beating myself up over the things I should or shouldn't have done. So, sometimes it helps to ask myself three questions:

  1. Did this mistake happen recently?
  2. Does it still affect me?
  3. Can I do anything about it?
Nearly always, the answer to these three questions is no, and this means that I needn't bother about it any longer. I take my advice from the turtle in Finding Nemo, who wisely stated "Don't worry about the things you can change, and don't worry about the things you can't". Sometimes I just need to remember that life doesn't have to be as complicated as I make it out to be. Once I realise this, I can sleep easily and peacefully the whole night long. 

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