I was speaking with a friend today, and we were discussing a poem they’d written about counting sheep. I mentioned that when I have too many things running around in my mind and have trouble getting to sleep, I use “The Worry Tree” method.
I visualize each item like an ornament with a small hook (or a fishing lure works too!), and I “hang” each one on my curtain rod in the bedroom. When I used to travel a lot for work, sometimes I’d hang them along the top rim of a large lampshade. It doesn’t really matter what you imagine, or where you hang them. The point is to release them from your thoughts so you can go to sleep, knowing they’ll be there for you to pick back up in the morning. It always helps me…
Here’s the story of “The Worry Tree” that inspired my little method:
The Worry Tree!
The Carpenter I hired to help me restore and old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
“Oh, that’s my trouble tree”, he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”
“Funny thing is”, he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
~ Author unknown
How about you? Do you have trouble sleeping some nights? What do you do to calm your thoughts and get to sleep?