For years, I would suffer from insomnia on evenings that I had to socialize. If my husband and I went to a party or we had friends over for dinner… it wouldn’t matter if I had a perfectly good time or not. Inevitably, when it was time to hit the pillow my mind would start it’s chattering… I would go over the evening in my mind over and over again in minute detail. I would worry about what I said or how our house looked (if we were the dinner hosts for that evening). I agonized about what our friends thought or how I appeared to others. This would go on for a long time. It was not a fun night when this happened and needless to say, I did not sleep well.
If you can relate to this, you are not alone. There are many of us with social anxiety. It manifests in differing degrees, perhaps, but it is more common than we realize.
The Mission here at The Warm Milk Journal is:
To live a well balanced, rewarding life of our dreams by day and sleep restfully at night.
We can’t very well do that if our monkey minds are churning around agonizingly over and over again about stupid stuff. Right!?
For a quite a few years I actually was prescribed a low dosage of Clonazepam to help me sleep at night when my anxiety was at its worse (about 12 years ago now). I am happy to say that I have been medication-free for five years and it is rare that I lose sleep over social anxiety.
Here are three things that I have found that help me:
1. At some point, I realized that people (in social situations) are not thinking about me. No, do you know why? They are busy thinking about themselves. That’s right! So what am I doing wasting my precious time and energy worrying about what they are thinking of me?
It was once said that:
What others think of me is none of my business. ~ Author unknown
Amen! That one idea has helped me considerably!
2. Calming activities before bedtime such as: writing in my journal and meditating are most helpful.
3. If you are lying in that bed in the dark stuck on a monkey-mind thought…become the observer and ask your mind what is it going to think next. For instance, ask :
I wonder what my next thought will be?
I picked up this neat little trick from Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and it really works. Give it a try!