Faith WoodCalm down. Seriously.

We all have things that leave us on edge. Sometimes it’s an event or a person (like a visit from your mother-in-law). Sometimes we’re more anxious due to more significant issues, leaving us unsure of our safety and well-being, like when a severe illness is going around.

Whatever the case, anxiety is adept at derailing our lives and keeping us from accomplishing what we want and need to.

How do you handle this kind of nervous worrying?

If you’re lucky, you eventually learn how to take it in stride.

But for some people, their coping skills aren’t healthy. And others flounder, trying to find their way.


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If you’re in these groups, consider this: Visualization is proven to reduce anxiety and create a calmer and happier you. I use visualization with many of my clients, who have found it to be extraordinary.

As summer begins to draw to a close, here are a couple visualizations you can test out.

Unwind with some string

Feeling all tense and coiled up inside?

This usually comes when you’re holding back too many emotions.

Picture yourself carrying around all these knotted emotions tangled up with words you’ve wanted to say all day but couldn’t.

Visualize all these feelings into an imaginary ball of yarn. Now sit back and take several calming breaths as you withdraw this ball of yarn and hold it in your hand. Do you feel the weight?

Good.

Now drop it on the floor, holding onto the end of the string so the ball rolls away from you, unravelling as it goes. Watch all the strands of yarn unwind, disappearing as they do.

Stay in the vision until the entire ball is unwound and gone, and you’re feeling lighter and more relaxed.

Shut it out

Our thoughts can be noisy things. We hear so many voices in our heads, reminding of us deadlines, things to do and people to see. Add to this the negative self-talk that creeps in occasionally and you have a lot of chatter and no peace.

For this kind of problem, visualize yourself in a room with a big open window. Set all these voices outside the window.

Now take a deep breath and shut the window firmly. This is a nice, thick double-paned glass. You can no longer hear the voices when the window’s closed.

With visualizations like these, you can take control where you need it most and set your feet on a better path.

Remember, you’re in charge of what goes on in your head.

Troy Media columnist Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications. 

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