Have you gotten to a place where your bed triggers anxiety? Does just thinking about your bed cause some palpitations and dizziness?
If so, it is time for change.
Firstly, know that you’re not alone. As isolating and lonely as it may feel, there are countless others who feel like you do. More importantly, there are also countless others who don’t anymore. And just like them, you can rekindle the love between yourself and what used to be your favorite place for rest and rejuvenation.
Let’s start at the beginning. For some reason, whatever it was, it isn’t actually important, you started having trouble sleeping. Perhaps that alone turned your bed into a battlefield and trigger for anxiety or perhaps you were served some unhelpful advice – only use the bed for sleep and sex.
That advice came from a good place, no judgment. The thinking was that as you’ve started to associate the bed with stress, you need to change that and re-associate it with sleep. Pavlov’s dogs. Get it. The problem is, we humans are a bit more complex than canines. Most of us anyway.
When you are told you should not be awake in your bed, that you should get out of it lest it becomes even more anxiety triggering.
The pressure to sleep fast increases which is the exact opposite of what you need. You need as little pressure as possible for sleep to happen.
So how can you get back to a place where you were longing to snuggle under those comfy blankets? Do exactly what you’re told not to – do things you enjoy in bed!
If you feel like watching TV, perfect! A Netflix show, great! Wanna read a book or play with your phone, go ahead!
Make the bed a place where you can do anything that brings you joy.
If the thought of doing this at night makes you feel butterflies in your stomach, you can start during the day. Spend some time in the morning or afternoon chilling and relaxing in your bed and learn that it can be a very desirable place to hang out.
Keep one thing in mind however, you can’t force any associations. Just as you can’t force an association between sleep and your bed, you can’t force yourself to enjoy time spent there. It has to feel right.
Also, the intent with spending time in bed is not to make yourself sleep more, it is just to teach yourself that the bed does not have to be a trigger for wakefulness. And strange as it sounds, spending time awake in bed doing things that bring you pleasure does just that. It teaches your brain that it’s not bad to hang out in bed and when that happens, it doesn’t get triggered by the mere thought of your bed.
Because your flirting has taken you a big step towards where you want to be, in love again.