Tool #2-Create a Soothing Calming Image-Your Own Inner Sanctuary!
Our imaginations are quite powerful. They can work for us or against us.
Did you know, when we are worrying about our lives, feeling anxious, and drumming up all the “what if” scenarios, our imaginations are working very well?
And, as you’ve probably experienced, when you are using your imagination this way, your body feels tense, you might get irritated easily and you may feel less than your best self.
In this heightened state of worry, stress, and anxiety, your body is reacting to all the imaginative scenarios you are dwelling on.
Your heart is probably beating a bit faster, breathing may be more shallow, and muscles tighter. You may find it challenging to simply relax.
And, the most interesting thing about all this is that you are creating this phenomenon in your body, simply by using your imagination. That’s how powerful your imagination is.
How about turning that around?
It’s time to consciously and purposefully use your imagination in a way that will bring on the Relaxation Response I briefly discussed in the last Mind Matters.
By using your mind to imagine a calm soothing image, scene, or a place in Nature, you are eliciting all the feel-good hormones that support you in releasing stress, anxiety, worry, and all the “what if’s” from your mind and body.
Now you get to use this calming soothing image as an anchor-an association-that will trigger those endorphins to be released-when you bring this image to mind.
I like to set this up as an “Inner Sanctuary” for my clients. Now you can create one for yourself.
It’s quite simple to do, yet very powerful.
5 Easy Steps to Creating & Using Your Own Inner Sanctuary
1-Take a breath and think about a place in Nature that is very calming and soothing to you. Or maybe a room that is cozy, comfortable, safe and nurturing.
- It could be a place you’ve been to before, you long to go to or one you simply create right now.
2-Allow yourself to experience being here fully in your mind’s eye. Notice everything you see, feel, hear, sense in this place.
3-Notice how your body feels. Notice how when you focus on being here in your imagination, how present you are to just being here.
4-Next, you can give yourself an anchor-remember an anchor associates something.
- Perhaps squeeze your fist, or put 2 fingers together, or place your hand over your heart.
- You could even find a photo or draw something similar to what your imagination created and keep the physical image around to anchor in those feelings consistently.
5-Then, imagine you are filing this image in the library of your mind.
Whenever any negative or stressful external circumstances get you feeling out of sync or your worries and anxious thoughts and those negative “what if’s” of your imagination kick into gear, go to your library and pull out this image you created.
And, if you’ve created a physical anchor like squeezing your fist together, use that to intensify the feel-good feelings!
You’ll notice you begin to feel more connected, more refreshed, and that you’ve been given this opportunity to reset the rest of your day.
As a bonus way to use this tool:
Use your Inner Sanctuary to hang out in to get in the creative flow to design the rest of your year that is inspiring and feels fulfilling.
Have fun creating and using your Inner Sanctuary!
It brings me immense pleasure to hear how you are using any of these tools.
Please leave your comments here or shoot me an email: Jackie@JackieFoskett.com