Anxiety: Clearing Your Mind

Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D. recommends this exercise to clear your mind,  increase your focus, decrease  your worry, and increase your emotional availability in the present.

  1. Find a private place, where you can sit undisturbed for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Sit comfortably, breathe deeply and evenly.
  3. Notice any part of your body that is tense, painful, or stiff– face, jaw, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, legs, feet.
  4. Breathe into whatever part of your body feels most painful or uncomfortable, then breathe out the pain or the discomfort. Do this several times.
  5. Imagine that there is a container in front of you, one that can be closed tightly, but one which is now open and waiting for all the things that are pressing on your mind, in this moment.
  6. Ask yourself, “What is pressing on my mind?” “What is asking for my attention?”
  7. Notice each thing that comes to mind, whether physical, mental, or emotional; it could be a person, a situation, a problem, or an event. See it, name it, then place it inside the container.
  8. When you have no more things that are pressing on your mind, ask yourself if there is anything else.
  9. When no more things present themselves, place the lid on the container, then imagine putting the container somewhere, away and secure. You will be able to gain access to it later, as you wish.
  10. Into the space that you have cleared, by removing the container, you may invite:
    •  Jesus, along with His words, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19, 20:26)
    • Blessings and things that you are grateful for
    • Happy memories, safe and trusting times
    • Favorite scripture verses that you can ponder and meditate upon