7 Crystal Mindfulness Practices to Let Go of Old Habits for the New Year

Picking up a crystal can help you switch out of autopilot into the present. Use these 7 charged stones and their associated mindfulness practices to manifest the change you want to see in your life.

  • Our brains exhibit neuroplasticity: that is to say, they can change their hardwiring. Studies show that mindfulness creates functional and structural changes in the brain , and that these practices are helpful in depression, substance abuse, relationship conflicts, and disorders such as eating, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive—all of which arise out of ingrained patterns. When we practice being aware of the present moment and utilize the healing qualities of crystals, we become gently conscious of any negative thoughts and behaviours we habitually run.

    Autopilot Versus Direct Experience

    Many people are constantly on ‘autopilot,’ exhibiting habitual reactions ingrained by long experience. Being on autopilot can manifest as feeling ‘switched off’ and numb; it may lead to a focus on avoiding pain and repressing feelings—and even to addiction. Other people may be more aware but are still slaves to habits and expectations, stuck in a feedback loop of ‘this is how it has been and so it must be...’ This leaves no room for change. They may be lost in thought, constantly projecting into the future and hardly ever present. Neuroscience research by Norman Farb at the University of Toronto showed that operating in this way uses a specific neural network called the ‘default system’ or ‘narrative circuitry.’ This network relies on memories of how things have been to filter and interpret everyday experiences. It is routinely used for planning, strategizing and setting goals, but it doesn’t operate in real time, nor does it take in immediate sensory or new intellectual data.

    The research also identified a more direct type of experience, one that is active, participatory, immediate and sensory based. Direct experience is mindful and can switch off the default system so that you become attentive to data being received in the present moment. Taking a mindful breath, or picking up your crystal, can switch on this direct experience, bringing you alive and into the moment. So if, for example, you are worried about an upcoming event and your mind is going crazy trying to cope, you can rapidly switch off the narrative circuitry that is running those thoughts. This applies to deeper ingrained programs such as habitual reactions, assumptions, addictions or compulsive thinking, too. By coming into the present moment, your body relays new information to your mind. You are no longer imprisoned by the past and flexibly respond to each new situation as it unfolds. Your brain chemistry and other physiological processes change to accommodate the sensations of the moment. You acquire the ability to shape your future.

    These 7 crystals are perfect for switching off autopilot, tuning you into the present moment, and helping you manifest change.

    See also 10 Crystals to Tap for Creativity and Inspiration

  • Shut off the Chattering Mind: Auralite 23

    Shut off the Chattering Mind: Auralite 23

    For stillness, serenity, silence

    Composed of over 23 different minerals in an Amethyst, Citrine and Green Quartz base, Auralite 23 is an extraordinarily complex crystal that, paradoxically, brings you to a point of complete stillness and simplicity. This stone is more than 1.2 billion years old, formed at the moment when multicellular creatures first emerged on Earth, and so takes you ‘back to the beginning’. Auralite 23 can be called upon for comfort and calm, especially during times of shock or distress. Its gently soothing waves of energy remove stress and allow you to put down any burdens you are carrying. If you need to reflect on a course of action, it assists you in applying the knowledge you already have to plan and then to let go—and stop worrying. It is particularly effective if racing thoughts prevent you from sleeping.

    What this Crystal Brings to Mindfulness

    Auralite 23 has the ability to shut down the constant mind chatter that so often plagues us, taking us into a place of calm serenity. It gives a feeling of switching off the ticking clock of time that relentlessly pushes us onward. The crystal offers a space to breathe and relax, to let go and enjoy inner solitude.

    Using this Crystal

    Gaze at the crystal (or this photograph) with softly focused eyes. Breathe in deeply. As you breathe out follow the lines as they spiral down from top to bottom, allow your thoughts to drift away into the reflection until you come to a point of stillness. Alternatively, place the crystal on the middle of your forehead when meditating or make a grid of three crystals around your pillow to help you sleep.

    See also Meet Your Mala: 7 Intention-Setting Strands

  • Let Go of the Past: Turquoise

    Let Go of the Past: Turquoise

    For letting go, releasing, freedom

    A stone of strength and purification, Turquoise has been used from ancient times to provide solace for the soul, as well as healing for the body. It defends against noxious outside influences, and was traditionally used by travelers to protect themselves and their possessions en route. this stone releases you from old vows, inhibitions and prohibitions and from the strictures of outdated authority figures. Turquoise has an affinity with the Throat chakra, enhancing clarity of communication and in particular creative and self- expression, and assisting problem solving. It dissolves self-sabotage and is very helpful when shaping career plans, enhancing leadership. It is especially useful for public speaking, as it calms the nerves. It also resonates with the eyes, assisting clear sight and also inner sight – intuition. It is excellent for overcoming depression and exhaustion and for alleviating panic attacks.

    What this Crystal Brings to Mindfulness

    Turquoise stabilizes mood swings and creates inner calm. It assists meditation. With the help of Turquoise, you live in the present rather than dwelling in the past. Imposed ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ fall away, allowing your soul to express itself spontaneously once more. It helps you to overcome a martyred ‘why me’ attitude. Using Turquoise, you recognize that the creation of
    ‘fate’ is ongoing, depending on what is done in each moment.

    Using this Crystal

    List everything that bugs you from the past. Include ‘if onlys’, traumas and dramas, destructive patterns and toxic emotions. When complete, wrap the list around the crystal. Put it in a plastic bag filled with water; seal this and place it in your freezer. The next time you clear out the freezer, throw away the bag, water and paper. Cleanse the crystal before reuse.

    See also Astrology: What Your Sign Says About Your Creative Side

  • Repattern Your Story: Brandenberg Amethyst

    Repattern Your Story: Brandenberg Amethyst

    For perfection, reprogramming, versatility

    Brandenberg Amethyst holds the energy of Amethyst, and Clear and Smoky Quartz in one versatile package that links to your soul plan for this life. A stone of spiritual alchemy and deep compassion, it connects you to the immensity of your spiritual self and to Source energy. Brandenberg assists you in climbing a vibrational ladder to higher consciousness while holding you anchored to the earth. This stabilizes your core being, no matter what changes occur. The stone creates brainwave combinations that enhance meditation, regression (either to a past life and to earlier in the present life) and healing. It acts as a gatekeeper against psychic attack from other people and against hostile energies from non-Earthly beings. Brandenberg heals traumas and accesses guidance from the Source. Healing, often instantaneous and profound, filters into your physical and subtle bodies, restoring balance on all levels.

    What this Crystal Brings to Mindfulness

    Brandenberg Amethyst is the perfect healing stone for your soul and for the forgiveness work that is so essential to mindfulness. It carries the ideal energetic blueprint from before time began—holding this stone takes you into timeless perfection. You know that you are flawless as you are, in each moment. There is nothing to do, nothing to be. You simply are.

    Using this Crystal

    Gaze into a Brandenberg Amethyst (or this photograph) with half-closed eyes. Feel its energy growing larger until it totally surrounds you. It strips away all your pre-conditioning and outgrown patterns, and takes you into a place of perfection. Be still. Feel the new pattern moving into the spaces between your cells and the energetic layers of your aura.

    See also The Desire Map: How to Set a Goal with Soul and Get It

  • Make Clear Decisions: Carnelian

    Make Clear Decisions: Carnelian

    For dynamism, decisiveness, passion

    A highly energetic stone, Carnelian assists if you need motivation and decisiveness. Called ‘the actor’s stone’, it helps you to put on a confident face and cast worry aside. Carnelian dispels apathy and negative conditioning, helps to restore your vitality and stimulates your creativity. It encourages you to be steadfast in your endeavours and to trust your perceptions, and it facilitates the making of positive life choices. In its gentle pink form it is excellent for overcoming abuse of any kind. The stone banishes toxic emotional states and dissolves bitterness. It has long been used as an amulet against rage, resentment or envy. Carnelian is also helpful if you are paralysed by fear of death. In ancient times it protected the dead on their journey to the afterlife and it allows the recognition that such a transition is merely a change of state. If you want to love each moment of life, wear a Carnelian.

    What this Crystal Brings to Mindfulness

    Carnelian holds you steady, moment by moment, in the present reality, imparting a quiet acceptance of the cycles of life. Removing extraneous thoughts during meditation, it also tunes habitual daydreamers into everyday life, encouraging decisive action.

    Using this Crystal

    If you are pondering a difficult decision, make a list of the pros and cons of each possible outcome. Before you go to sleep, put the list under the crystal (or this photograph) and then forget about it. When you wake in the morning, you will have made your decision.

    See also From A Yogi’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Mala Beads

  • Release Addictions: Ameythst

    Release Addictions: Ameythst

    For Independence, autonomy, freedom

    Amethyst’s strong healing and cleansing powers, and its ability to enhance awareness, have historically made it one of the most spiritual stones. This crystal is highly protective, transmuting psychic attack into loving energy. A natural tranquillizer, Amethyst also balances out emotional highs and lows, and is helpful for depression and bipolar disorders. It has been used to overcome addictions for thousands of years. Drinking cups were created and amulets worn in the belief that the user would never get drunk. It has a sobering influence on out-of-control physical passions and obviates a tendency toward self-indulgence. This stone facilitates decisions, combining common sense with spiritual insights. It assists the transmission of neural signals through the brain and improves memory. Amethyst also helps insomniacs to enjoy peaceful sleep. This is especially so if the cause is an overactive mind. It protects from nightmares and helps you to remember insightful dreams. This crystal facilitates visualization.

    What this Crystal Brings to Mindfulness

    Amethyst turns your thoughts away from the mundane and into serenity. The crystal opens you to other realities. Calming or stimulating the mind as appropriate, Amethyst helps you to feel less scattered and more focused. It assists assimilation of new ideas and helps you to connect cause and effect.

    Using this Crystal

    Whenever you become aware of a craving or an overwhelming desire, take out your Amethyst and hold it tightly. Gaze intently into its tip. Smile. Squeeze the crystal and then loosen your grip. As you do so, repeat to yourself, ‘I choose to let go, I let go, I let go. I break the cycle. I choose freedom.’ Smile again.

    See also Halotherapy: Salt Rooms + Yoga to Relax, Recharge and Breathe Easy

  • Switch Off Automatic Pilot: Malachite

    Switch Off Automatic Pilot: Malachite

    For intrepidness, fearlessness, self-direction

    Malachite is a powerful stone of profound transformation. Life is lived more intensely under its influence. If you have been suppressing toxic thoughts or feelings, it brings them to the surface, releasing historic anger and psychosomatic causes of dis-ease. Malachite breaks old ties, releases inhibitions and removes outworn patterns, and so sets you free to be your authentic self. The experience may be temporarily traumatic but ultimately therapeutic, as you are no longer pulled back into past dramas. This stone teaches you to take responsibility for your actions, thoughts and feelings. It helps you to develop empathy for other people and makes you less judgemental, allowing you to know how it feels to be in their place.

    What this Crystal Brings to Mindfulness

    Journeying through Malachite’s convoluted patterns releases your mind and your emotions to remain focused in the present. it helps you to stay with a feeling, breathing gently as you fully experience it and then allow it to move on. Hold the stone in your hand or keep it in your pocket to remind you to stay with the process and not pull away. Ultimately, Malachite teaches that a feeling is just that – a feeling. Neither good nor bad. And it too shall pass.

    Using this Crystal

    Gaze at the whorls on your Malachite crystal (or this photograph). Be aware that these are the ingrained patterns that run your life, going around and around. Recognize where you have been running on automatic pilot for so long. Suddenly move your eyes, changing focus to the edge of the crystal. Step off the hamster wheel into the now of the present moment.

    See also 5 Steps to Cope with (and Conquer) Failure

  • Recollect in Tranquility: Rose Quartz

    Recollect in Tranquility: Rose Quartz

    For harmony, memories, forgiveness

    For your own serenity and wellbeing, you may need to look back to the past, accept it as it was, and move on. Rose Quartz is the perfect companion for this journey. It not only resolves traumas but helps you to see the joys and gifts in your experiences, releasing regrets, yearnings and ‘if onlys’. A stone of unconditional love and infinite peace, it opens your heart and offers deep healing through loving acceptance and compassion. One of the great stones of forgiveness, this crystal teaches the true essence of love. It shows you that you must first love yourself before you can love others. Rose Quartz reminds you that unconditional self-love is not selfish; it is self-empowering and self-affirming. Without this self-love, mindfulness is not possible; neither is accepting love from others. With it, you regain your trust and live in harmony with the world, savouring each moment afresh.

    What this Crystal Brings to Mindfulness

    Rose Quartz draws off negative thoughts and emotions and replaces them with feelings of unconditional love. It assists in the acceptance of necessary change. If you look back with longing or with horror to the past, it gently releases you, teaching you how to love and live in the present moment.

    Using this Crystal

    Hold Rose Quartz (or this photograph) over your Solar Plexus chakra and feel the love it radiates to you. Breathe gently. Take your mind back to a memory – ‘good’ or ‘bad’ –that is disturbing your equilibrium. Remember it fully. Feel it deeply. Breathe. Wait patiently until you are tranquil; do not force it. smile and . . . breathe.

    See also What Are Mala Beads? + How Do I Use Them?


Adapted from Crystal Mindfulness © Judy Hall 2017 published by Watkins, London, Paperback £8.99, $12.95