09/04/2012 02:05 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2012

Smash Your Worries: The Plate Exercise

Here's a quick, easy exercise to really let go of our troubles and mental baggage. For those of us who want to control things because we know best, this gives us an out. We can feel like we're taking charge of letting go.

Here's a quote I adore:

"Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." -- Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

But let's face it, sometimes feeling in charge makes us feel safe. The relief I feel when I do something about a problem or a worry makes me feel better. I have a "God box" where I place paper scraps filled with worries about money, writing goals, family matters, and worrying too much. But sometimes that just feels too passive.

Years ago, I got what I felt was a divinely inspired idea. It involves plates, permanent markers, safety glasses, and my favorite part... a hammer. Here's the notion. Things are stacking up in your mind and on your to-do list. You find yourself obsessing about matters at hand, distracting you from the moment. You want to yell, you want to jump up and down, you want relief!

That's when you gather the above-mentioned materials and then let it all go.

Write your worries on a plate. Take a hammer and smash the plate to smithereens. Dump the plate remains in the garbage and carry on. I've been sharing this exercise for about five years now. It works. That's the feedback I get from just about everyone who's tried it. Not only does it bring mental and emotional relief for people who do it, it also seems to create significant changes for those who list these problems on their plates.

Here's a video I made with my son, who was 6 at the time, about the plate precess.

I know, it sounds ridiculous, but you might want to try it before you dismiss it. If life's platter has gotten too full, time to smash the plate.