To fill you in, my life that year was a busy whirrrrr!!! I’d been promoted to my dream job, had a 45 minute commute to work and was putting in ten-hour days. Plus, I was getting married and had my control freak hat on as I planned the ‘perfect’ wedding.
Looking back its no wonder my body was screaming for mercy. I was a crazed, sleep deprived mess, and this was one of the many wake up calls I had that year (pneumonia a month earlier). Warning signs my mind and body were beyond exhaustion.
But I kid you not…. despite struggling to fit a spoon into my mouth, and cutting my sandwich into little squares to push between my teeth, I waited a month before seeing a doctor.
I was referred to a maxillofacial surgeon and he explained my jaw muscles were spasming due to excessive, and brutal, teeth grinding and clenching.
I was lucky, this surgeon didn’t want to operate he wanted to teach me how to relax my own jaw muscles. And more importantly, he wanted to get to the bottom of why it had happened and prevent it from happening again.
So what caused my jaw to clench so tight it went into spasms? My incessant worrying, over thinking and resulting anxiety. I started to notice that when I was over thinking and struggling to get it all done I was unconsciously grinding my teeth, and I was doing this 24/7.
Back then I lived as much in my head as I did out of it. I played what-if scenarios over and over for hours at night, turning over thoughts and ideas and replaying conversations I’d had that day.
Add to this I was over-committing and then worrying how I’d get everything done. I’d plan and replan my days over and over while my mental lists grew longer and longer.
Sound familiar? Do you ever try so hard be on top of all things for all people that you lay awake at night going and over things again and again, even though you’re exhausted?
Are you often worrying how you’ll get it all done, and when? Planning out the next day ten different ways in your head.
If so it’s time to improve things – and I promise that you can.
Here’s the simple solution… the plan isn’t to stop worrying (trust me I’ve tried that) it’s becoming aware of the nagging thoughts your holding onto and instead of keeping them in your head writing them down.
Let me introduce you to The Worry List. The Worry List is more than another checklist, it’s a ritual that honours your worries and allows you to release them from your thoughts so you can find more ease and rest.
Before bed tonight go sit in a room, one that’s not your bedroom or place you rest, and write everything you’re worried about on a notepad. Keep writing until you can think of nothing more.
Now leave the list there. As you leave the room tell yourself your worries are somewhere safe and ready to be actioned the next day.
This process of hand writing will allow your brain to soften its hold on your worries, knowing nothing will be forgotten because it’s all written down.
If you go to bed and find your thinking about anything on The Worry List, remind yourself there’s nothing you can do now, it’ll be there in the morning. (trust me on this your worries will wait).
If a new worry comes up – and keeps you up – go write it down.
Decide today that you’re no longer going to hold your worries inside.
Decide and commit to this simple practice daily and your life will gain so much ease and flow. (Take it from a gal who worried herself into lock-jaw).