A few weeks ago I mentioned to my psych that I had been getting up in the middle of the night to do a brain dump in a notebook because my brain was just overflowing. It was like a light bulb went off in her head. There was a flurry of paper and I had to fill out a couple of questionnaires to determine just how much of an issue worry and the intolerance of change is for me.
I scored moderately high for worry and extremely high for intolerance of change. There was a third one that I had to fill out but it had a pretty complicated scoring system so I won’t find out what the score is for that until my next appointment at the end of this week.
While it was interesting to see the difference in the scores between worry and intolerance, it came as no surprise to me that I have an extremely high intolerance for change. Even Paul laughed when I told him that I had to fill out a questionnaire to discover something he could see easily.
You see having things change is quite possibly one of my biggest stress inducers. Control freak is probably a bit of an understatement…however there is a catch. My core belief also stops me from acting out on the intolerance of change, my need to avoid rejection trumps my need to have control.
All this means that the bulk of when I worry while playing over scenarios in my mind, happens at night, when there is no one else around, when I am trying to sleep. The thing that I have found interesting since writing down the things that are bothering me is that I’ve noticed a pattern of the same thought processes happening over and over again each night.
There is a pattern of berating myself over everything that I said throughout the day. I analyse everything I have said, looking for ways that I failed, that I looked stupid and said the wrong thing. I go over and over the conversations, looking at ways that I could have changed it. Of course none of this is helpful. It turns my mind into knots of worry, and makes sleep elusive.
The other pattern emerging is that the need to control comes out in the hours when I am trying to sleep. I go over my plans for the next few days, impatient that I have to wait to carry out things that I see as important. I lay in bed going over the details, working out the things that could possibly go wrong. I try to fish out every minute detail. Of course this leads to further stress when things don’t go the way that I envisioned.
The brain dump has been really helpful for me to just get it all out of my brain. I haven’t done any work on the actual thoughts but it’s the act of writing them down so far that has helped to make room for my mind to relax enough to sleep. The worry is still there, but at least I have it written down so that it’s acknowledged rather than allowed to stew in my mind.
Do you worry a lot? What things have you done to help yourself reduce the amount of worrying.
Linking up with Jess for IBOT