I woke up in the middle of the night last night with the worst anxiety in the pit of my stomach. The space between my eyes wrinkled up so hard it felt like I had Sharpei there. “Why, why” I asked as I tossed and turned while my husband snoozed peacefully beside me.
“I’m usually so happy, what is going on?” I decided to ask the wrinkles between my eyes. “What is this frowning about? Don’t you know you are making me look old?” To my surprise my wrinkles talked back! This is what they said: “You are afraid of your future and you don’t know what to do” “Oh no, not you again” I thought. That voice in my head that is always the bearer of bad news.
For an hour or so I just lay there fretting about my future and accepting the fact that I was not going to get another wink of sleep that night. Then I remembered my happy arrows. “Oh, right” I said and shot myself through and through. Soon I was drifting off into a blissful sleep and my future seemed so bright I would have to wear shades. If it sounds like I was shooting drugs, I sort of was, if you call happiness a drug.
Here’s how it works.
Imagine that the negative feelings are dark clouds over head. Imagine that you have beside you a bow and a quiver of arrows. Take up your bow and pull out an arrow. Notice that the arrow is a bright shade of yellow (the color of sunshine). Now, shoot the arrow into the clouds. Notice what happens. Do the clouds give way to sunshine? Next, put a picture of yourself in front of you (in your mind) and start shooting the yellow happy arrows at the image of yourself. As the arrows hit see them melt and pour yellow softness down your entire body. Keep doing this until the image of you that you are shooting at begins to smile and you feel happy.
This is such a simple little trick to dispel anxiety any time of the day or night, so simple you wouldn’t think I would forget it. But there I was feeling needlessly miserable for over an hour when I could have just grabbed my arrows and been done with it and sleeping peacefully.
You, too, can have a peaceful night’s sleep. Next time anxiety wakes you in the night (or in the day) remember this little trick. Your happy arrows are always at your side.
©Christina Florence – February 2008