This week in group therapy we worked on something called safe place visualisation which is where you imagine a place in your mind that makes you feel calm and safe. We were told to close our eyes and imagine a beach but not just what it looks like but also how it sounds and smells (basically we were doing guided meditation) now I have a very active imagination so my brain kind of wondered into the ocean where I could somehow breathe under water and swim with mermaids. Strange as it was it helped me relax but also have a bit of fun and really make the vision my own. We were told to practise this for roughly 20 minutes a day, with whatever place made us feel happy and relaxed, in the quiet until we could eventually just use the word associated with our safe place and go there on command.
Unfortunately getting any peace and quiet in my house is difficult and my brain would not cooperate as my visions went wild or I got bored. These days I can’t even get any peace in my sleep as I have weird dreams and nightmares, waking up at all hours even when I do take my medication but maybe writing about my ideal safe place will help?
My favourite place to go in real life is a library or bookshop where I am surrounded by books, whenever I enter a bookshop the busy high street and the problems of my life seem to melt away and I am comforted by the tranquility of the place so for me that’s where I like to go to feel better. By imagining being in such a place I am using something called Emotion Memory which means I’m using a memory to trigger a certain feeling (this I learned about in acting class) in this case I am using the memory of one of my favourite places to trigger a feeling of contentment.
I’ll need to put this into practise more but already just by talking/writing about I feel at least a little better than I did before I started writing. So, If you could go anywhere in your mind even a fictional place where would you go?
By the way this kind of environment should be neutral so try not to include anyone you know personally in your vision.