Is it time to take a break?
No, Sleep Talks Letters aren’t taking a break. Not yet :)
I’m talking about the need to take a break from all the concepts and all the learning that we do during our recovery journey.
Sometimes too much is simply too much and we need to respect that.
Have you ever felt that despite knowing a lot of info on how to get out of the vicious cycle of sleep anxiety you seem to feel more confused and even more triggered than before? Have you felt overwhelmed with the information? Have you felt lost in what to do next? Have you been consuming more content only to find that you aren’t feeling even a bit better after watching or reading it?
Perhaps that’s a sign of needing a break.
When I first came up with the concept of “sandstorm”, I thought that the way to approach that state is to deploy awareness over what’s happening.
For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of sandstorm, I wrote an article on it. In short, a sandstorm is a state when we know at lot of information but nothing seems to make sense to us. The clarity is close to 0 and we don’t know which way to go. We are anxious about sleep but we don’t know what to do about it.
So awareness can be a great help in such situation. We use it to raise above the sandstorm to gain clarity and begin to see the storm for what it is, but we also see the blue sky, the horizon, and the rest of the landscape. We are no longer in the storm, we only observe it.
But I noticed that it is not always easy to become aware of the storm while we are bombarded with scary thoughts and unpleasant feelings non-stop. A behavioural intervention might be actually helpful.
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Taking a break from consuming any information can be the reset button we need. Instead of trying to understand the paradox of insomnia and forcing ourselves to get all the concepts at once, we take a few steps back.
We resolve the sandstorm by subtraction, not by addition.
We aren’t trying to hunt for another aha-moment, rather, we are removing ourselves from the activity that stopped serving us.
On my recovery journey, I regularly felt overwhelmed. And I noticed the more I tried to force “clicking“ the worse I felt. But the moment I would tell myself: “screw that, I’m taking another turn”, the more relief I felt. After some time the clarity would resume and all the concepts that didn’t make sense suddenly started to resonate. I just had to step back for a while.
I like the painting analogy. Imagine you look at some impressionist painting and you are standing too close to it. At this distance, you might say: it just doesn’t make any sense! What am I supposed to look at? But the moment you distance yourself from it, you begin to see what the painting is about.
I can also understand if the idea of taking a break seems too scary and you know, you don’t have to do that! Just know that is an option you can use anytime! And even if you decide to take a break from consuming information, it is not like you can never come back to it or it will never click with you. Perhaps at the right moment it all will come together into a coherent and clear picture.
I also touched a similar topic in one of my older videos:
Take care <3