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Counting Sheep - Will It Help With My Anxiety?

Counting sheep is a big part of nearly every culture. Some people do it every night to go to sleep but some believe that it might help you during anxiety. How? It helps you focus your thoughts on something else for a moment. However it might not work for everyone, since some people find it "repetitive", "simple" or just "boring". Even though there are multiple other things you can imagine such as fish swimming by, a rose having its petals plucked or even meditation, can counting sheep really help you during anxiety?

Well, It depends on you. If you can control your thoughts enough to count sheep for a minute or two, or get to a specific number, then it might actually help you.

How Do I Count Sheep Properly?

First, to get ready to practice this, sit down or lie down in a comfortable position.
Now follow these steps.

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Visualise these in as much detail as you want to - A field, a fence and a sheep.
  3. One at a time, visualise the sheep hopping over the fence.
  4. Count to a specific number. For example 1 Sheep, 2 Sheep up to a 100 Sheep
  5. Open your eyes and just relax a bit.

What If I Can't Focus?

If you can't focus on counting sheep, try setting a lower number as your goal, or understand that this might not be for you. Try visualising a colourful fish swimming by or a cloud going by. You can also do this if you want to go to sleep, as it might help.

Counting sheep is so normalised that a lot of people do it to go to sleep. This might help you or you might find it boring, it all depends on you. Try different methods and try to find a way that suits you the best. Good Luck!

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay


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