Day two of the lockdown period.
In this highly uncertain time there’s increased pressure on our physical, mental, emotional and economic health and well-being.
How are you coping so far?
For many people the next few weeks aren’t going to be easy.
- you’re already experiencing feelings of fear and anxiety?
- you’ve already experienced anxiety or panic attacks in recent days?
- you’re feeling super alert or hyper-vigilant, in anticipation of whatever’s coming next.
You can emerge even more resilient on the other side
I want to reassure you that there are things that you can do over the coming weeks, that will help you get through, and emerge even more resilient on the other side, in as mentally healthy a way as possible.
For example, you can learn and practice some simple skills to help you reduce the level of anxiety and stress you’re experiencing. Skills such as the ones I’ve been sharing on my Tony Yuile – YourlifeLiveit Facebook page over the past few days.
When practiced on a regular basis these kinds of techniques can help you lower your anxiety level and become more resilient.
And there’s a particularly powerful way of reducing anxiety and stress that I want to share with you today – Visualisation.
At its simplest, visualisation is simply imagining something that isn’t actually there, in front of you. It’s like creating your own virtual reality in your mind’s eye.
Some people believe that they can’t visualise (I used to be one of them!), but the fact is we are all experts at visualisation, because we think and imagine in pictures.
What is the colour of your front door?
To answer that question you had to create an image of your front door in your mind’s eye, and basically that’s all you’re doing when you visualise.
Many people don’t realise that in order to experience anxiety you have to first visualise one or more future situations in which you experience something going wrong, and which results in some degree of physical and/or emotional harm.
Visualisation is powerful
Visualisation is powerful because our brain can’t tell the difference between what we imagine and what’s real. That means we can use that power to generate a feeling of deep calm and relaxation. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed the sense of relief this brings can be profound.
Relaxing ‘Safe Place’ visualisation
Here’s a simple visualisation exercise for you to practice that will help to relax your mind and body. It’s called the Relaxing ‘Safe Place’ visualisation.
- The first thing to do is find a safe, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed for at least five 5 minutes, and then you can either sit or lie down. And when you’re ready to begin your visualisation simply allow your eyes to close. Then take three deep, slow breaths.
- And now think, imagine or picture a place where you can feel calm, peaceful and safe. It might be a place you’ve been to before, somewhere you’ve dreamt about going to, or maybe somewhere you’ve seen a picture of.
- Once you have a sense or image of this safe calm, peaceful place, focus on the colours in your peaceful, safe place.
- Now, notice the sounds that are around you, or perhaps the silence.
- Think about or notice any smells you notice there. Perhaps the smell of freshly mown grass, the perfume of flowers, the smell of pine trees. Good
- Now focus on any skin sensations – the temperature, perhaps the sun on your skin, any movement of the air, the ground beneath your feet perhaps grass, sand, stones, notice anything else you can touch.
- Now whilst you’re in your peaceful and safe place, you might choose to give it a name, whether one word or a phrase that you can use to bring that image back, anytime you need to, just by closing your eyes and saying that word or phrase
- And you can choose to linger here a while, in your peaceful and safe place, just enjoying the peacefulness and serenity, or perhaps you might like to go exploring this special place in more detail, just noticing what you notice.
- And tell yourself that every moment you spend in this safe, peaceful place you are becoming more and more calm and more and more relaxed.
- And notice, sense or feel the tension and stress dissolving with each moment that you spend in this, your safe place.
- In this your safe place you can mentally rehearse how well you’re going to respond emotionally over the next few weeks.
- And whenever you want to you can leave your safe place, just by opening your eyes and being aware of where you are now, the present moment. Relaxed yet alert.
TIP: The more senses you engage when engaging in visualisation, the more real, richer and vivid the experience you’ll have.
I encourage you to take at least 5 minutes a day to practice this visualisation. Those 5 minutes will be well worth the investment.
If you’re worried you aren’t doing it right RELAX, there’s no right or wrong way to visualise. Whatever way you visualise is right for you.
If you have any questions or need any help with your visualisations don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Stay safe and well
PS If you’d like to explore working with me, simply text or call me on 021 056 8389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll tee up a time for a free 30 minute, no-obligation online consultation.
I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible enjoy lives free of unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’d like my help, or you know someone who would benefit, call/text me today on 021 056 8389 or email email@example.com