Listen in as Counselor Emily shares about using visualization for mental wellness. A transcript of this video is available below.
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Hi, my name is Emily Tester and I am a counselor with Garrett Counseling and today I want to talk to you about visualization. So visualization is a coping skill that we often use, whether you’re feeling anxious or you’re feeling really sad and sometimes even when we’re feeling really angry. So there are so many different ways that you can use visualization. So what is it? So in few words, it is just being able to create a picture in your mind. So what we want to do with that is you want to create a picture in your mind to help quiet the noise inside of you and calm your body back down. Because what we want to do is we want to work on being able to regulate and to feel that we have control over our emotions in any given moment. So visualization is really great as a way to kind of redirect wherever your thoughts or your feelings are and walk you through just the calming process.
So you can do guided visualizations. There are so many options on YouTube that you can choose and what it’ll do is it’ll walk you step by step through different types of visualizations. You can walk through yourself, you can work with your own counselor and kind of create a script that you guys can use in practice. Really, there are so many different options. So right now I’m just going to walk you through a quick visualization that you can use and this one is… it’s a little bit quicker and it’s a little bit easier to walk yourself through this versus some of those more guided ones that are going to be a little bit more in detail.
So the first step is either to sit or lay down, whichever you are more comfortable in. So I’m going to stay sitting since I am recording for you guys it’d be a little bit harder for me to lay down. So I’m going to sit comfortably. You can close your eyes or you can just soften your gaze and look down whichever you feel more comfortable doing. So usually I like to close my eyes. I feel like I can visualize a little bit better, but sometimes it’s really kind of hard to be that vulnerable and close your eyes. So no worries if you just want to kind of look down, whichever works better for you. So now that you’re comfortable, you’ve softened your gaze. I want you to focus now taking some breaths. So I want you to breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs and out through your mouth, kind of blowing that air back out. So breathe in and out. Breathe in and out.
Now your next step, after you’ve sat and you’ve closed your eyes and you’ve done some breathing, now I want you to picture yourself somewhere in nature. So this just really depends on what you like. So I personally, I love imagining a beach, so that’s the example that I’m going to use with you guys today. So you can picture a beach, you can picture yourself walking up a mountain, you can picture yourself floating down a river in a floaty or a canoe, any type that you want to be in nature, you can be sitting at a park. Anything that kind of sparks your interest. It can be summertime, it can be winter or fall or spring, whatever temperature that you like, whatever you feel like is going to be the most calming.
So I will walk you through the beach example because that is my favorite. So I’m sitting, going to lower my gaze. I’m going to breathe in and out. Breathe in and out. Now I’m going to picture myself, I’m sitting on the beach. It’s a nice warm summer day. I’m just going to look around wherever I am. I’m going to imagine how the sun feels as it warms my skin. And you get the goosebumps as the warm sun and the breeze flows by. Breathing in and out. Now that I’ve noticed the sun, I want to feel that breeze as it feels and it cools my face from the warm sun. Still breathing in and out next. I notice how I feel sitting in this sand, the sand as it’s warm and it’s grainy underneath my toes. Still breathing in and out. So those are all the different things that I can feel in the moment.
Now, my next sense is hearing. Breathing in and out. As I could hear the waves crashing against the beach, some are soft and some are loud. Breathing in and out, and I can hear the birds as they’re chirping and flying around. In and out. Now I’m going to smell as I’m breathing in and out as I can smell the salty air from the sea. And now taste. I can almost taste some of that salt that I just smelt as the wind kind of blew that sea into my face. Breathing in and out.
And now when you’re ready, as you take a few more breaths out, you can still be open your eyes and come back to the present moment, it may take a minute as your eyes have been closed, and notice what you feel inside your body now as you’ve walked through this process, notice is your heart beating slowly, are you taking longer, deeper breaths? And just thank yourself for giving yourself that space to come back to this moment. And that’s just one example of using visualization. Again, there are many different options out there. You can Google them, you can YouTube, but especially talk to your counselors. They probably have a lot of good different ones that they can walk you through. Thank you so much.