You’ve been working all day. You haven’t finished all of your work… At best, you have made a tiny dent (which will be refilled tomorrow). But, it doesn’t matter. Nothing else can be done for today. All you need now is a good night’s rest. Yet as you start to lay down, the thoughts start!

“Not again”, you cry out in despair as your head starts to throb. It’s been months since you’ve gotten a restful night’s rest.

“This short attack of alarmingly quickly beating heart may come, and so often does, just as you are going off to sleep, or may even wake you from sleep. Do not sit up in panic. The more you panic, the more adrenalin is released by your nerves and the quicker your heart beats. […] I still suspect that if you take your pulse you will find that its rate is not much more than one hundred and twenty beats to each minute. Even if it is, it is not important. A healthy heart can tolerate a rate of over two hundred beats per minute for many hours, even days, without evidence of damage.”

From Self-Help for Your Nerves

Here is the solution:

  1. The intrusive thought shows up.
  2. Let the thought float and pass.
  3. Don’t panic (you have to practice this – life requires effort).
  4. Feel useless and go to sleep (see the article on being alone).

[Recommended reading: Self-Help for Your Nerves by Claire Weekes]

This book contains a lot more specific information on different stress cases. Check it out at your public library!

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