1st Minute: Define what exactly it is that is worrying you. Write it down. Worry is simmering fear. In the old days, we would just run like hell when we were scared, but nowadays, we bubble away in our little pots of worry. So, the first thing to do is face what it is that worries us, and then define it by writing it down. Set a kitchen timer to make certain that you spend at least one minute on each of these steps. Concentrate intently on each minute and do it as completely and sincerely as you can.

2nd Minute: How can you realistically wriggle out of the problem? Write it down. For example, if you are worried about having enough money for retirement, then a “solution” such as working forever would be a way to wriggle out, but this is not practical — unless you are a robot! And saving and investing for retirement is not wriggling out, that is taking steps to solve the worrisome problem. So, is there any clever way that you can wriggle out? Maybe moving to Uzbekistan where the cost of living is less, moving in with the kids, etc. Write it down.

3rd Minute: If you cannot avoid the problem, what can you do about it? Now write down reasonable solutions that will more than likely solve your problem.

4th Minute: Write down the date when you plan to start your solutions. Really promise yourself to take action on this problem regardless of how serious or scary it may be. The unknown is always more intimidating than any disclosure can be.

5th Minute: What is the worst thing that could happen? Write it down. If your worries come true, how bad could it get? Face this down. If you are worried, for example, that you might have the Ebola Virus, picture all that will happen to you — and write it down!

6th Minute: Just in case the worst does happen, what is left? If you lose your wealth, will you have your health? If you lose your wealth and your health, will you have your friends? If you lose your health and your wealth and your friends, will you have your faith? And if you lose your faith, what new frontiers will you be forced to discover, as you enter through that immense door of emptiness? Only our ignorance of this universe, its vastness and its mysteries, leads us to despair. It is impossible to lose it all. That cannot happen — ever. Write down what it is you will be left with.

7th Minute: Concentrate on your breathing. All that can be done has been done, so now put it all out of your head and just watch your body breathe. The body does this naturally without your help at all; you don’t even have to worry about it! If thoughts interfere as you watch your body breathe, notice the thoughts as soon as possible and then dismiss them, returning your attention to the breath. This “just watching your body breathe” is much easier than the above steps, because in this very moment, everything is as it should be; everything is fine.
8th Minute: Count your out breaths. In breath, out breath — count “1” In breath, out breath — count “2” etc. You should be able to count up to somewhere between 2 and 14 in a minute, depending on how deeply you are breathing. Short, shallow breaths are a dead give-away of stress!

9th Minute: Watch your thoughts. Now stop watching your breath, or counting, and instead notice your thoughts. To make this easier, picture yourself on an overpass, and picture your thoughts as the cars and trucks passing below. Don’t jump into a car or truck (a thought) and go for a ride, just watch them pass below and out of sight without becoming involved.

10th Minute: “Courage.” Now go back to watching your breath, and on each in breath and each out breath, repeat silently to yourself the word “courage.” In breath – “Courage,” out breath – “Courage” etc. Don’t force the breath, allow the body to breath naturally. And as far as worrying is concerned, allow things to take their course. Take proactive actions to solve your problems.