visualization

How to Relax the Nerves in a New Way – Visualization

visualizationMany people will tell you to breathe when you need to relax. They will tell you to take a walk. They will tell you to focus on the positive. While all of these suggestions can work, many people report they do not. If you’ve tried these ways to relax and you’re just not feeling its effects, you may want to try something a little different – visualization.

About Visualization

The mind is a powerful part of your body. It can make your body do almost anything you want it to. You just have to focus on whatever that thing is that you want to do.

For instance, if you want to relax. You must take yourself away from the threat that your body has encountered. See, when we are anxious, it’s because our body believes that someone or something is going to harm us. This is why our hearts beat faster, our muscles are tense, and we just have a feeling of restlessness. Sometimes, these responses are needed because you do need to get away from the threat, so you don’t get hurt. Other times, there’s really no threat to worry about, but your body still acts like it.

When you’re feeling anxious, you should try visualization. It’s the process of taking your mind to a place where there is no threat to make your body feel as though it needs to get ready to act.

A Visualization Exercise for Relaxation

Let’s try it now. You will have to read this first, and then try it.

Close your eyes. Breathe in and then out. Do it a second time and this time imagine your muscles releasing. You may even feel as though your muscles are relaxing as you imagine they are. On the second breath, make sure to slow it down, so that you are breathing slower than you were before. After this, start to imagine a place where there are no worries at all. It’s a place that’s beautiful, safe, and inviting. This place makes you smile. You have no physical limitations in this place. You can walk, run, skip, or whatever you would like to do because you can do it.

Explore your safe place. Take a minute to smell what’s around you. Listen to what’s around you. Not what’s in your actually environment, but what’s in your safe place. You are imagining…let your mind just go with it.

Spend as much time in this safe place as you would like and create whatever you want to include in that place. Nothing negative or threatening is allowed in your safe place. This is your place to be at total ease.

After a few minutes, bring yourself out of your visualization slowly. Imagine yourself walking backwards away from your visualization instead of turning your back on it. You want to walk away with that visualization with you. This is so you can bring the effects back with you when you open your eyes and go about your day.

When you’re ready you can open your eyes. You’ll likely feel a bit different. Maybe you’ll feel calmer, or maybe just a little more rested. Whatever you feel, you’ll probably be in a different place than you were before.

This is just one of the many things that I teach my clients when they are seeking some help with their nervousness. If you would like more help, please contact me for a first session. I would love to help you with my personal consulting services.

Image courtesy of Dan from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

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