At 3am I used to bolt awake and worry about my llama, Sabrina. I’d worry about how she was sleeping or if the coyotes had finally squeezed through a loose wire in our pasture fence.
Then I’d worry about our goats, my health, our bank account, and if I should drink less Chardonnay. Next on the list, my husband’s weight, my chihuahuas teeth, and my elderly friend Denise who lives alone.
For the record, most everything I worried about at 3am never, ever, ever, happened and thank goodness I finally learned a very simple way to fall peacefully back to sleep. No pills required. It’s called “Loving-Kindness Meditation”, great by day and even better in the dead of the night!
- First take 3 slow, deep belly breaths in and out. This simple act resets your brain and allows your body to shift from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system, or put more simply, from “OH NO!!! THE COYOTES ARE PROBABLY EATING MY LLAMA!!!” to.. “Everything is fine, it’s all okay, so okay in fact that I am actually falling asleep… zzzzzz”
- Silently repeat the following 4 phrases, in any order you choose until you fall peacefully into the arms of Morpheus for the rest of the night:
“May I be safe”
“May I have mental happiness”
“May I have physical happiness”
“May I have ease of well-being”
This powerful meditation comes from a great book called “Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness” by Sharon Salzberg and contains various meditations to increase compassion and peace in our sometimes worrisome world.