What to do about worrying too much at 4.06am

What to do about worrying too much at 4.06am

Last night I woke up at 4.06am with an announcement from Neville:

“There is a lot to worry about, Andrea.”

I agreed, and we worried for a while about some miscellaneous worries. I checked my phone. 4.16am.. Shit.

Nev: “What are we going to do about Instagram, Andrea?”

Me: “I love not having Instagram on my phone, it’s so freeing! Don’t make me start it back up!”
Nev: “Yea but remember what Ash Ambirge said… she potentially missed out on a book deal with one of the major publishers because she doesn’t have enough Instagram followers. She has 10s of thousands (maybe 100s of thousands?) of followers and subscribers on other channels. And she’s the best copywriter ever! You’re never going to be able to write a book if you don’t sort out your Instagram!”
Me “Yea, fuck. But I suck at Instagram, I still don’t understand how to use it properly!”

Nev: “Yes, that’s a worry, you do suck at Instagram. Especially hashtagging. Let’s worry some more.”

We worried for a while longer. Then I peered over at Bloody Good Chap sleeping soundly.

Bastard. Neville chimed in, “he probably doesn’t even love you that much anymore.

He’s probably getting bored of you.”

Then we worried about that for a while. Eventually tears sprang into my eyes, and then we worried some more, and tried to map out a strategy to make sure BGC doesn’t leave us for someone who is good at Instagram.

PS – if you follow me on Instagram, I’ll think you’re excellent!

I remember someone telling me some such thing about dopamine being low or cortisol being something-or-other at some certain time in the middle of the night, making our brain more likely to dwell on shenanigans, and I knew that was probably happening. Yet the worries felt so real, and

Neville was CERTAIN that if we just spent a bit more time worrying, we’d come up with some solutions.

Eventually I remembered to employ one of my handy mind-taming techniques to reign Nev in a bit so I could doze off again.

A few hours later I woke up at a more reasonable hour and headed to a yin yoga class to try and sort out my brain. I put my bag into the shelves, went to walk into the studio, then thought, oops, drink bottle. Went back to my bag to get it, then 30 seconds later found myself walking into the yoga room with my laptop in one hand.

Something didn’t seem right.

Ah shit, I’d pulled out my laptop instead of my drink bottle and walked into the class without realising.

I looked sheepishly at the yoga teacher, mocked myself, then swapped my laptop for my drink bottle.

When times are really bloody busy, Neville becomes very, very powerful.

Periods of bloody business are usually the times when Neville announces that I should skip meditation and yoga because I’m wayyyy too busy for such things.

Sometimes I listen, sometimes I don’t, but without fail, if I do what he says, he becomes so powerful

that I do things like try to walk into a yoga class with my laptop, and wake up at 4.06 am to try to solve problems that will never be solved at 4.06am.

When your mind takes over, you sometimes need to call for reinforcements to reign that chap back in so you can focus on what really matters without swizzling yourself into overwhelm like I did yesterday.

My reinforcements come in the form of scientifically validated techniques and practices that I know will help me stay present in the eye of the Nevilley storm: yoga, meditation, holding my attention anchored in the sensations in each of my fingers when I’m lying in bed, taking a few breaths before I start work, ignoring my emails, and starting with the most important task on my to-do list.

In case your mind has taken over lately like cheese rolling down a hill, call for reinforcements!

If you need a hand with learning a few mind taming tricks to add to your reinforcement tool belt, check out my free 6 day mindfulness challenge.

And you should definitely follow me on Instagram so I can write a book one day…

even if I can’t hashtag my way out of a paper bag, I have a feeling I will be back on there soon with some way more interesting strategy than photos of my face and long-ass blog posts that ain’t no Instagrammers got time for.

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G'day, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness facilitator and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in my unconventional mind-taming program for indecisive overachievers - Bloody Good Life. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.