When anxious thoughts take hold of your mind, it can be very difficult to restore your balance and feel calm again. Luckily, there are visualization techniques you can use to bounce back from moments of anxiety and stress.
Studies have shown that it can reduce the impact of anxious thoughts and can even improve your performance at work or studies.
Calm Your Mind with These Visualization Techniques
1. Double-paned window technique
When anxiety strikes, you can feel under fire from negative thoughts, with very little you can do to protect yourself, because they’re already in your head. But the power of visualization techniques can help you overcome them.
Imagine that the voices are coming from outside your open bedroom window at night, which can be as disturbing when you’re trying to sleep as having anxious thoughts.
But instead of getting angry, simply get up and close the double-paned window, silencing the noise and helping you sleep peacefully.
2. Serene beach scene technique
Going on a beach vacation is meant to be a time for rest and relaxation, but it comes with all its own stresses, like the packing and the flight to get there.
If you’re scared of flying, one visualization technique can help you get through the take-off or landing.
Simply imagine that you are sitting on a white sandy beach, listening to the lapping of the sea and gazing at the blue sky. Let yourself sink into the beach chair, feel the sand between your toes and breathe gently along to the rhythm of the waves.
3. Stop sign technique
If your brain is very effective when it comes to thinking about the worst case scenario in any given situation, sometimes it can hard to stop it and get control back.
So when this happens to you, and unwanted thoughts hijack your mind, visualize a big red stop sign on an empty street. Focus on the sign and say ‘stop’ to yourself, over and over again.
This technique will break the hold the thoughts have on you and reduce your anxiety.
4. Blender technique
Another major cause of stress and anxiety is when we are overwhelmed at work, with too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Trying to prioritize can be impossible when we are plagued with anxious thoughts can be impossible. So we need to use a visualization technique to clear our minds and get our focus back.
Try visualizing a blender full of food and grinding and chopping loudly, then switch it off in your mind and enjoy the calm.
5. Ball of yarn technique
When anxiety is plaguing you, it can be hard to unwind at the end of a stressful day, so here is a visualization that will help you, literally, unwind.
Picture a small ball of yarn, which represents the stress and tension inside you. Then start to unroll it and feel all of that built-up pressure releasing as the ball unwinds.
6. Blue light technique
There are some tasks that cause us particularly stress and anxiety, and light visualization techniques are good for easing these feelings, whether they are used before or afterwards.
Visualize a blue light all around you. Breathe it in and let it fill you up breathing out the tension and nerves as black smoke until it has all gone and been replaced by the relaxing blueness.
7. Quiet is a liquid technique
This last visualization technique is a good way to silence the chatter all around you as effectively as noise-canceling headphones, but for free.
Visualize a clear, thick liquid pouring all down your head and body, covering you completely with peace and quiet, and then breathe deeply and enjoy the calmness you now feel.
You can see all of these visualization techniques in this infographic from NetCredit, which should help you better understand how to visualize them. Give them a try and see which ones have the most positive effect on you.