Visualization for anxiety may be one of the most effective techniques available to us to fight back the symptoms of an agitated state of mind. Taming our brains is a difficult process, something that depressed and anxious people know well. It requires a lot of inner work, time, patience, and the right tools.
Being visualization one of the best tools to treat anxiety in both the short and long term, today we are going to talk about the actionable ways to do so.
If you experience anxiety more frequently than you would like and in significantly intense, painful ways, please know that it can be treated. Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways and scenarios. Some of us may feel it more intensely but that doesn’t translate into incapacity to achieve good progress in diminishing its effects.
Let’s explore first where it may be coming from.
Where Does Your Anxiety Come From?
Every person with the goal of fighting anxiety should ask about the potential origin of theirs. Exploring and understanding where it may be coming from is important to implement the right visualization techniques for anxiety.
It can be very difficult to solve a problem when we ignore its likely causes. This being said, it’s also true that we don’t need to have a perfect understanding of how our anxiety and its causes work. Getting to know ourselves is a never-ending adventure, so we should not get discouraged by this journey.
There are some risk factors that make anxiety more likely to be experienced. For example, people with depression and substance abuse are two cases where anxiety is more common and frequent.
Stress is a major cause of anxiety. People with significant stress episodes or chronic stress due to busyness, work, studies, conflict with close relationships, trauma, or uncertainty about the future will almost certainly experience anxiety.
Finally, genetics and personality type will also affect our sensibility towards emotional distress and make anxiety more common, frequent, and intense. If this is the case, no one is to blame. These risk factors are way beyond our control and deserve our kindness. From this point, we have the responsibility for taking action towards improvement.
Visualization Techniques for Anxiety
At Mind Visualization, we strongly believe in the benefits of visualization and its many techniques. In this case, visualization for anxiety is highly effective in helping individuals who are anxious frequently, a condition that affects daily life, regardless of the root cause.
In the following lines, we will explore some of the visualization techniques for anxiety that we recommend you to try.
The Big Stop Sign
We all have certain thoughts that trigger anxiety. Some of these thoughts can invade our minds in the least expected moment, potentially causing us a vast array of negative emotions.
Visualization can help us to stop these thoughts on time, which means that we could be effectively preventing stress episodes.
One technique that is especially useful in this scenario is to visualize a big stop sign, putting that toxic thought in a halt. In the moment you detect that malicious thought creeping in your mind, dedicate a moment to stop whatever you are doing, close your eyes, and imagine a big stop sign in the way of your thought. This stop sign will be directed to the thought in question. Force the sign on the thought violently and without hesitation.
This big stop sign will bring the much-needed pause that we need to impose on many thoughts with the capacity to trigger anxiety in us.
The Highway View
This visualization technique for anxiety is highly useful for overwhelming thought processes, where we see ourselves flooded with many worries and doubts. Feeling overwhelmed is a common cause of high stress, so it’s a must that we learn how to manage these situations.
The highway view is a useful technique that gives us perspective on everything that is taking space in our minds and provides us with space to effectively reduce anxiety.
When feeling overwhelmed, take a pause, close your eyes, and visualize yourself resting on a nice terrace. Far away from you, there is a highway with cars going in both directions. Those cars, no matter how many they are, are your doubts, questions, and problems. Everything you are worried about and feeling is there, on the highway, still existing but moving along without disturbing you. You see them but you are the one who is choosing their place.
The Closed Window
Finally, this visualization technique is especially valuable when our anxious thoughts are too loud. Maybe there is too much noise in our minds, making it impossible for us to either focus or relax. For example, remember those nights when our minds are way too active and anxious to actually rest.
If this is the case, close your eyes and imagine an open window. Outside, you can see people talking, making all that noise that is driving you crazy, that is stealing all of your attention and energy. Observe them briefly, seeing how they cannot stop talking loudly.
When you are ready, visualize yourself walking towards that window and when you are there, simply close it. As you close it, you will see how all the noise diminishes until there is none. You will be surrounded by the much-desired silence, the perfect condition to keep anxiety at bay.