Try this simple mindfulness practice next time you feel trapped by your own thoughts. It’s short and you can use it anytime, anywhere. Instead of destroying the worry, you’ll dissolve it in your focused awareness. Then you can move through your day (or night) feeling calm, capable, and open to what’s next.
Already know you could use more help… especially at night? Get my book Sleep Rituals for 100 practices that’ll move you away from stress, and toward rest. Don’t let another night go by without that kind of support. It’s so important.
For the worries you have right NOW, try this.
Dissolving Worry in Your Awareness: A Mindfulness Practice for Peace Right in the Middle of Everything
1. Give yourself space to be here.
Allow space for all you’re experiencing to be here with you. Don’t act on your worry just yet. Let yourself be present with the fear, doubt, and uncertainty without needing to do anything about it.
Slow down. Drop in, just to see what it feels like to be as present as possible with whatever’s happening.
2. Notice how the worry feels in your body.
Is it an expansion of your chest as you breathe? Or a constriction around your heart? A tightness in your shoulders or jaw? Where are you holding this worry? Focus on your felt experience alone -- not your thoughts about it.
3. Relax into the felt experience.
Where you feel tension, consciously relax those muscles. Softening your physical body, let yourself surrender to it.
4. Imagine each breath you take is an ounce of courage.
Breathe courage into your fear, doubt, uncertainty, frustration, worry, thoughts, future, and body. One breath at a time, you send a little more strength and trust into these places. Keep doing this for as long as you want.
5. Feel the courage to dance with the uncertainty.
What would it be like to bring curiosity into this experience? To see it not as something to run from, but something to move with? To embrace it, even, as if your soul had invited it here?
Pretend you’re an adventurer, and explore the chaos and uncertainty of your life. What if you found something to be grateful for through it, and not without it? Would you approach it differently now, knowing you’re on the path?
- Give yourself space to be here.
- Notice how the worry feels in your physical body.
- Notice how it feels to consciously relax into whatever’s happening.
- Breathe courage into whatever you find.
- Make this whole experience your friend, your guide, part of the process.
Even if the worry hasn’t gone away, neither have you. In this moment, you’re OK. You’re here. Feel your OK-ness, your goodness, your breath, your life -- your center in the storm.
You got this.
And remember: you can use this mindfulness practice whenever you need it. In the car, in bed, at a work meeting, on a perfectly sunny day.
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What helps you relax when you've got worries on your mind?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!
P.S. If you need something more visual to help you let go, try a candle gazing meditation. If you don’t know how that works, get my book Sleep Rituals for a whole chapter of visualizations… and about 7 more chapters of things you can do to relax. Picture this: any lingering worries are dissolved in the flame while only love radiates from it.