Training visual fantasies
You may have to get used to this exercise first. It involves the use of visualization techniques so that you can focus on neutral images, reduce the degree of excitability, and feel calmer – both mentally and physically. Visualization needs to be trained, so for the first time you shouldn’t do it when you are going to bed, otherwise you will be disturbed by the fact that it didn’t work instantly. Practice ten minutes better during the day until you are completely confident; then activate it when you begin to master the mode of calm.
♦ Go to where no one will disturb. Sit or lie down.
♦ Close your eyes and imagine that you are in a calm place. Where you can feel complete relaxation: on a sun-drenched deserted beach, on a lake surrounded by mountains, in a comfortable chair or next to a loved one.
♦ To get to this place, you need to go down the stairs of ten steps. Imagine that you are standing at the top of the stairs and ready to take the first step down. You are calm, relaxed and happily awaiting the descent.
♦ Imagine putting a foot gently on each step – as if they are from warm sand – and you feel that all the accumulated tension of the day leaves you as the steps descend from 10 to 0.
♦ After reaching zero, give yourself a command and go to this peaceful place. Look around, paying attention to the shades of color, listening to the sounds and imagining smells and texture.
Try, if possible, to revive the picture, paying attention to small details: what is it that you are wearing? Maybe you go barefoot – does the sand penetrate between your toes? Remember all that you like and inspire a sense of security: the sound of the sea, the feeling of the sun caressing your skin, or a special fragrance.
As soon as this place and this experience take root in your memory, wherever you are and whatever stress you experience, you can always go back to your thoughts – and your body will remember a sense of calm.