Do you ever get that tight, gasping feeling? As if you're being crushed on the inside? Or a feeling over being overwhelmed?
Visualisation is a mental time-out that can help you destress. It’s a bit like meditation but much simpler.
Here's a video that explains how it works, and a second video to help you relax.
If you prefer to read rather than watch, the transcript is below.
This how it works: you need to combine several deep breaths with a mental image that you relate with feelings of calm and relaxation.
Also, to give the exercise kick, you need to bring in as many of the five senses as you can: what you see, smell, feel, hear and taste.
Finally, it works best if you walk into the image and finish it either by sitting still or on a loop of activity.
Like for me, my idyllic scene is to walk up to a swimming in a pool in the middle of a super hot day, to get in and then to swim laps. The image works for me because I’m from a cold country and so the idea of a burning sun on my back is just heaven.
However, it’s not for everyone. Many of my friends in Malaysia have a horror of the sun, so my happy scene would make them stressed not relaxed. You have to pick the right scene for this to work!
I like visualisation because it’s simple, fast and it works surprisingly well for a lot of people. At the very worst, if it doesn’t work, there are few downsides, like you waste a few minutes.
If you do the exercise every day, it promotes calm and helps lower stress levels.
You can also use it to manage stress attacks.
Visualisations work best when they are personalised (yes, hire me!) but I’ve made you a short video of a cross culturally friendly early morning beach scene that’s designed to be calming and refreshing.
Try it out and let me know how it goes.