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A question for those who use visualization or going to a ‘happy place’

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Buddhakitty Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:19 PM
Original message
A question for those who use visualization or going to a ‘happy place’
I was in a terrible situation yesterday at the ER and I witnessed by the most horrific sights I have ever seen. I have a history of panic attacks so I was trying to visualize a ‘happy place’ to take myself out of the situation and calm down. It usually (kind of) works, this time it didn’t at all. Then I got to thinking, maybe I’m doing it wrong. HERE’S MY QUESTION. When I do this visualization, I am always looking AT myself in a calm, peaceful setting. I am never actually IN the setting. What is the correct way to visualize to calm yourself down? After my old way wasn’t working, I tried to do it the other way (i.e. picturing myself IN the situation) and that felt really weird, like I was insane. Any advice?
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm always there
not watching myself there. Just feeling at peace with what I "see" in front of me. Or what I want to see, what makes me feel better.
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kiraboo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. I always struggle to put myself in the scene
but end up watching myself anyway. I do believe that if I could manage the former then the exercise would be more beneficial. But visualization isn't a foolproof way of dealing with stress and it is possible that whatever you were dealing with was just too much.
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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. When I was going through
treatment for cancer, I used visualization techniques to
calm myself when the chemo started to take its toll.

For me, it was almost like starting with a blank canvas.
I would add one thing at a time, like I was the artist
starting a new painting.

For example: a blue sky, then some white fluffy clouds,
birds flying, tall trees, flowers...whatever. Then I would
add the sounds: the birds singing, water flowing...Then
came the scents: from the flowers, freshly mowed grass.
I never had to picture myself in the situation, because by
the time I had finished my "painting", I was already there.
I resort back to it every now and then when I have trouble
sleeping.


I'm not sure if this is making any sense. But I don't think
there is a right or wrong way, just whatever works for you.


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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. That's a fabulous way of doing it, sounds to me!
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:50 PM by susanna
Just reading your description made me happier. :-)

To the OP: When I do visualization, I just plunk myself right in the scene, like at the ocean; I watch the waves come in. I'm watching the surroundings, though, I don't "see" myself, so I guess I'm IN the scene. Other times I'll put myself in the woods or on a mountain. But I'm always IN the happy place, not seeing myself in it from outside. I don't know if that helps or not? Other than pointing out I'm kind of crazy? :-)
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DrZeeLit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Great explanation and "technique"!
I agree -- I'm "in" the place, but I never see myself.
I try to feel into the place in a three dimensional way.
I began to learn by using a meditation/visualization called "Sacred Temple by the Sea." W. Brugh Joy gets the credit.

Actually, you visualize your own idea of a temple and the sea and the whole ritual of going "in" and coming "out," which is key, by the way. You can get "in" if you make it an important, or "sacred" process. Because you're always working with your soul, your inner self, it is rather sacred. And to honor that, you make it real by going through the same steps and complete the circle: in and out of the place.

Hope that helps. And btw, with enough practice, you can do this in the blink of an eye. I've done it standing on line at the DMV. Quite wonderful actually.
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CornField Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. I 'go' there
It starts with stepping in an elevator and taking myself, floor by floor, further away from the unwanted/un-needed. When the doors re-open, I'm in my place.

This works very similar to meditation or self-hypnosis: just let yourself sink deeper and deeper into the scenario you have created.
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. I get anxiety and panic attacks very rarely, but they are terrible!
I hope you're okay now? It sounds like it was a bad situation. :-(
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Buddhakitty Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
8. Thank you for your replies. I now believe I have been visualizing
incorrectly for years. Well, it's better to find out sooner than later I guess - gives me time to correct it. To the person that asked, I am fine, it's what I saw that made me so upset. It was a county hospital in Los Angeles .... everyone that has no insurance goes there. I am still tormented by what I saw. This life deals people some horrific cards ... just horrific. Anyway, thank you for your replies - very much appreciated
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
9. I have a hard time visualizing too
What I can do is deep breathe. Breate through your nose. Breathe in for 5 seconds. Breathe out for 5 seconds. Concentrate on your breathing. When I am at home and lay down, I can do this very well. I can do it somewhat well sitting down in a quiet place with my eyes closed. I still have difficulty with those if I can't remove myself from the action especially if I am being expected to take action. The breathing part probably is good for those who do visualize even. A lot of the panic attack is often breathing too shallow and/or rapidly. Calm breathing is calming as well.
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