At night, when I can’t sleep, I use a mantra to relax.
As I repeat this tiny phrase, there comes a silencing of all the doubts and hurts that wander around within. The tension drains out of me within a few seconds. In a fairly short amount of time, I am asleep.
This exercise stops me from ruminating about the smaller, day to day worries—
I wonder how the meeting will go tomorrow.
I can’t believe I said that!
Did I forget to pay the electric bill?
I can’t believe she is mad at me over that!
It is more than a reminder to just relax and “be,” however—it also has the more profound effect of quieting fears so deep within that I can barely even glimpse them, let alone speak about them.
God is with me. I am safe.
Why is this particular mantra so effective? It is short and concise, yet has two parts.
First, I breathe in God is with me, which reminds me that there is a plan that I will never completely understand and I must surrender to this, having faith that something much bigger does. During the second part of the phrase, I exhale. This seems to reach those parts of me that are buried so deeply within I may never see them in this lifetime.
I reach down into when I was a baby, almost four months premature stuck in an incubator for months. I reach the hurt parts of me from childhood, from teenage wounds, and even those other parts that we deny just as forcibly that occur when we are grown and fumbling through life.
For you, God is with me may not be the beginning you need, but there are many other ways to say the same thing:
We are one.
I am connected to all.
The divine surrounds me.
The universe in infinite.
I am safe can also be said in other ways.
This is all just an experience.
What will be will be.
Everything is happening the way it is supposed to.
This is merely a lesson to understand.
Other times when I forgotten this mantra and been unable to sleep, I try other mindfulness practices, like:
- Focusing on my breath.
- Tensing and relaxing each part of my body.
- Drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed.
- Taking magnesium to help soothe my system.
While these others are lovely practices, they don’t connect me as quickly to the restful, calm state that precedes sleep.
Whatever mantra you choose to ease your passage into rest—or maybe it’s a simple cup of tea that helps you let go of your day—the idea is to find a way to let those thoughts be a lullaby in your dreams.
Author: Nicole Marchant
Editor: Renée Picard