Are you one that tosses and turns each night plagued by looping scenarios of “what if”? It’s probably of very little comfort to know that you’re not alone. Now with the news that long term use of prescription sleep aids may be harmful to our health maybe it’s high time to take matters into your own hands and learn how to sleep like a baby again.
Did you ever notice that you don’t spend countless hours either at night or during the day preoccupied about things about which you feel certain? I don’t think any of us have lost too many moments concerned whether Tuesday will follow Monday or night will follow day. We worry about things we feel are out of control or more specifically out of our control. What occupies our imagination, distracting us by day and hounding us by night, is the endless pursuit of successful outcomes for the infinite possibilities of “what if”. Our internal dialogue goes something like this: “What if I do that” or “What if I just said this”. The list is endless. It’s as hopeless as chasing our own tails and expecting that we’re making progress. How in the heck can you compete with infinite possibilities? You can’t.
What you can do if you want to reclaim your right to sleep like a baby is to learn to respond to the world of “what is”. “What is” is finite and infinitely more manageable than “what if”. It’s the kitchen that needs cleaning, your drawers that need sorting and anything else that might present as chaos in search of order. Before you dismiss this as trivial, keep in mind that monasteries and ashrams assign their novice members similar duties when they first arrive at the temple, monastery or convent. It might be helpful to pull a page from a playbook that goes back centuries and has provided peace for so many seeking answers. Don’t over think or over complicate that which is simple. Keep your mind occupied with what you can constructively and concretely do and you’ll be surprised at the reverberation. You’ll create an echo chamber of accomplishment that will sing you to sleep!