Freedom From Anxiety

Dream Catcher — the original is sold, but a licensed signed limited edition print is available through Great Big Canvas.

From Start Your Week with Steve, the free, weekly e-mail newsletter of Steve Henderson Fine Art.

Steve Says:

It’s a unique human being who has never awakened at 1 in the morning, or 2:30, or 4:45 with a catch of his breath and thoughts filled with worry.

Life is unpredictable, and this very unpredictability is what causes us, even the calmest and most worry-free, sleepless moments of anxiety. Money, health, finances — whatever it is that we can’t control, there will always be something. And we can either go through life worrying from one problem to the next, or we can try to get a handle on it.

As we enter November, and the kick-off to a two-month holiday season, it’s good to remember that Thanksgiving is a part of this month, and when we extend the holiday, mentally, all year round, we find a way of coping with the anxiety that is a part of living in the 21st century.

Here are a few ways I have learned to lull myself back to sleep, when something

Counting sheep, or sailing on the seas — these are better things to do at 3 a.m. than worrying. Golden Opportunity — original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed, open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

wakes me up in the middle of the night:

Remember the many things there are to be thankful for. If we focus on our problems, we will seem to have more problems than blessings. But if we focus on our blessings, they will outweigh our problems.

If you believe in a higher power, depend on that higher power to listen to you, care about you, and support you in your weakness.

Be aware that the middle of the night is not a good time to analyze — your brain is wired to shut this process down when you’re supposed to be sleeping. When your mother told you that things would look better in the morning, she was right.

Don’t carry your burden by yourself. Talk with others, ask them for advice, listen to their suggestions. Whatever you are going through, it’s highly likely that you are not in it all by yourself. Other people can give you a perspective that you do not have, and they can work on aspects of the issue that are beyond you.

This is a season for giving, and giving is good for the mind, body, and soul. While your own problems may seem overwhelming, those of others are overwhelming to them. Help someone, somehow, and feel good that you have lightened their load.

Every day, allow yourself to escape, if only for 15 minutes. Take a walk, read a book, work on a project, paint a picture, chop wood. Break the constant mental cycle of worrying over your problems.

Paperback, Kindle, and lending through AmazonPrime — this book is worth reading.

Read the rest, and subscribe, at Start Your Week with Steve.

One of the main things people worry about is money, and how they never have enough of it. Carolyn’s book, Live Happily on Less, is a series of short, friendly essays that talk about how to use what you have, wisely.

If there is any “secret” on how to live well on what you have, it’s this: your attitude makes the biggest difference, and your attitude is the one thing that you have the most control over changing. Look at the book; use the Look Inside feature on the Amazon site to read a sample and get an idea of what the book talks about. It’s worth the money.