I love doing these visualizations as they are really simple and you can do them anywhere, at any time and in all kinds of situations. They also work great for both adults and children!
Imagine that you’re at work, nervously awaiting your performance review, that's supposed to take place in one hour. You just can’t shake off the worries of what your boss might say.
You’re on your third cup of coffee within the same hour, your body is shaking from the nervousness and possibly caffeine overdose. And it goes without saying that you really can’t focus on ticking off the tasks from your long to-do list right now.
Which is making you even more anxious.
And how in the world are you even going to mention the raise, that you so righteously deserve and have been trying to bring up to your boss for the past year? Will your boss think it’s outrageous for you to request a raise? Will they even still want to keep you?
Maybe you should just not say a word about it altogether? Maybe you can wait another year and just make sure that you truly, 100%, deserve the raise (like you’ve been doing this year…)?
You feel your heart racing and start to suspect that it might just decide to jump out of your chest anytime soon.
You just wish you could dig yourself under a blanket in your soft and cosy bed and never have to work and have performance reviews.
But, unfortunately, you can’t escape it.
And the chances are, that the meeting will go much better than you are anticipating it to be.
That being said, the wisest thing to do in this situation, is to find a way to put away your worries and not let them stand in the way of your true aspirations and things you deserve.
And in this article, I will show you some very easy and quick ways of how to do it.
What is visualization?
I usually think of visualization as an active daydreaming, where you are in total control of every step of the way.
There are lots of ways that you can use visualization, for example:
Waking up in the morning and visualizing your dream life, with every little detail. which is proven to actually make you more focused on working toward that goal (1).
Visualizing that you are training for your sport and mentally experience different scenarios without actually physically being there (2). This is one of the coolest things I’ve learnt - that your brain perceives the muscle movements that you imagine as if you’re actually doing the movement. So when you’re lying in your bed and visualizing yourself running the marathon, your brain cells actually work in the same way as though you were running the marathon in real life.
Whenever you feel stressed, you can visualize yourself being on a calm beach, listening to the waves in the ocean and imagining all the scents you are feeling at that moment (3).
Visualize that you put your worries somewhere and send them away. This is exactly what this article is all about.
Here are several ways to send your worries away:
Imagine that you are blowing up a balloon and, with every exhalation, you send out a piece of worry into it.
Keep on filling the balloon with as much "air worries" as needed and tie it up when you feel as though all your worries are inside the balloon.
Now imagine that you release the balloon of worries up into the sky. Watch it as the wind blows it up and away. Watch it becoming smaller and smaller the higher it gets, until you can no longer see it.
Observe how your body and mind feels as you’ve let go of your worries.
Let the waves in the ocean wash away your worries.
Visualize a bottle, in which you put a piece of paper with all your worries about a certain event written down.
Seal the bottle very tightly and imagine yourself standing on a beach in front of a very wavy ocean.
Now throw the bottle with your worries so far away and with such power, that you’ve never seen before.
Observe the bottle being thrown and eventually hitting the water. Now watch the waves take it and drag it in, for you to never see it again.
Now observe how you feel about it and feel your worries go away.
Imagine your worries going on a long road trip and never return.
Impersonate them in your mind, wearing chill holiday clothes, packing lots of suitcases in the trunk of the car.
Imagine them waving you goodbye and driving off into the sunset. Imagine how nice it feels to know that they will never return to you, since they will love the nomad traveling lifestyle too much.
Feel the relief.
Imagine that you close the door right in front of the worries’ face.
Feelings of worry can be very loud, messy and bothersome. You can almost see them as constant annoying knocking on your door and ringing the doorbell at the same time.
Imagine that you do open the door just to see that it’s them.
You know that you don’t want them in your house, and you’ve had it with their noisiness. Therefore, you just quietly and calmly close the door right at their faces.
They get your message and run away immediately. You are back in control.
I've only recently come across these types of visualizations, during my grown-up life. However some of my friends have been doing them since they were children. So the great thing with these visualizations is that they work great both for adults and children.
Since I hadn’t known about these techniques back when I was a kid, I am making up for the lost time and taking full advantage and using visualizations to send away my worries nowadays.
I love how simple it is to just send your worries away, in the most convenient and available way for you at any moment.
I strongly encourage you to try one of the three techniques whenever you feel worried next time. And let me know how it went in the comments below! :)
I would also love to hear whether you use any other visualization technique to cope with your worries. So, if you do it, please leave a comment below and tell me all about it!
I am very interested to hear your opinion and tips on what you'd like to read about in this blog, so you are more than welcome to leave a comment here, or contact me on email@example.com
Laura | MSc in Medical Science, Certified Mindfulness Life Coach
Cheema, Amar, and Rajesh Bagchi. “The Effect of Goal Visualization on Goal Pursuit: Implications for Consumers and Managers.”Journal of Marketing, vol. 75, no. 2, 2011, pp. 109–123.JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41228586. Accessed 14 June 2020.
Woolfolk, R.L., Parrish, M.W. & Murphy, S.M. The effects of positive and negative imagery on motor skill performance.Cogn Ther Res9,335–341 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01183852
Shobe, Elizabeth, Alfred Brewin, and Sean Carmack. "A Simple Visualization Exercise for Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Performance on Difficult Math Tests." Journal of Worry & Affective Experience 1.1 (2005).