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I find it fascinating how the mind finds things to worry about. When I go to sleep, I find myself relaxing and the usual focus of the mind kind of drops away, and instead as I drift off to sleep my thoughts free-wheel. Often this is quite liberating but if I have something I have been worrying about intensely during the day, it comes back in this phase and I have a kind of pre-sleep panic attack, and then I have a lot of difficulty sleeping.
Sometimes I notice that my mind automatically seeks out aspects of a situation to worry about. I see a homeless person on the street, I worry about being homeless, i come across something violent, I worry about being subjected to violence, and so on. It’s as if this behaviour is then blocking a wider emotional response to the situation, instead I get stuck in a “worry trap”.
Probably this has something to do with survival, or with the thinking mode called ‘catastrophising’, searching for the worst possible outcome for you personally in the things you meet. But I’m finding it difficult to shed this way of thinking for something more Buddhist and more sane.
Do you recognise this? Have you coped with something similar?