I flipped open Richard Rohr's book "Immortal Diamond" in the middle of the night when my thoughts were running rampant and I wanted to release worry and opinion.
I found this gem in one of the appendices. He says,
"Next time a resentment, irritation or negativity comes into your mind ... and you want to play it out or attach to it, move that thought or person literally into your heart space because such commentaries are almost entirely lodged in your head. There, surround it with silence (which is much easier to do in the heart). There, it is surrounded with blood, which will often feel warm like coals."
This is similar to tonglen, in that it gets these thinking patterns out of negativity and into a place of warmth and compassion.
I found it worked well when I surrounded the worry with warmth, rather than silence. It seemed easier for me.
When I went back to sleep my dreams became fun and interesting and open.
First published February 2014 in my free monthly email newsletter, Starry Night. Sign up here.