One of the most difficult struggles a person can have is an inability to sleep, whether that is trouble falling asleep or waking up and being unable to go back to sleep, or just not getting enough sleep all together. A lack of sleep can cause so many other problems; memory loss, an inability to concentrate, physical health problems, depression and anxiety, just to name a few. A lack of sleep overwhelmingly causes stress!
A great tool I have found for my clients is one that was developed for military service men and women who suffer from PTSD and was found to be highly effective in helping them reduce their anxiety and stress. The tools are called Chill Drills, which are recordings of progressive relaxation scripts. “The drills [Heidi J. Bauer, MSW, LCSW] developed help reverse symptoms of stress. They slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and reduce the level of stress hormones in your body. When you do these drills regularly, you’ll actually lower your baseline stress level, and that will help you deal better with stress in the future.”
There are drills that can be used in other situations as well, when stress is not allowing you to manage your daily life. One of the Chill Drills is designed to walk you through releasing your stress and another is for decreasing back pain which is often associated with stress. Play them on your iPod, your phone, your mp3 player and use these tools to manage your stress more effectively. These Chill Drills can even help you prepare for an upcoming stressful situation. They help you learn and prepare for them.
These recordings (Chill Drill 5 & 6) can be downloaded (in MP3 format [which can then be imported to iTunes]) and played as you try to fall asleep.
Mary Bowles, PsyD-C, LMFT