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  • Writer's pictureIan Patrick

A Visualisation Technique

I’m following up my article on Square Breathing with a visual exercise that may help some of you. This one requires a bit more thought but is very good. When I was first diagnosed with MD I volunteered with Kings College hospital for a research programme that measured the impact on mental health when first diagnosed and techniques to alleviate anxiety. This is taken from that research.

Imagine you are sat at the edge of a stream or for those of us in Scotland, a burn. The water is smooth and the day is sunny. The water is moving away from you in a gentle flow. Upon it are leaves that rest on the surface and ride the steady undulations created by the water. As you observe this I want you to take a leaf and place any worry or concern you have on it. Let it go and just watch it float away while you sit safely on the bank.

The worry can be in the form of an image, word or phrase. Whatever is bothering you or causing you stress. Just place it on a leaf and watch it go. The leaves are never ending. You cannot run out of them!

When I do this exercise I like to have a waterfall that the leaf floats over and out of my vision or you can imagine a bend it disappears beyond. This visualisation technique takes a bit of getting used to but it’s very good for telling your mind to let go of whatever is causing you difficulty at the time. Remember that what you are experiencing is a feeling or emotion. You’re not the feeling or the emotion. You can let go of it if you give yourself permission to. Just send it away. As you do this, notice your breathing and focus on the breath. Nothing more.

Feel free to comment on the blog or on Twitter as I’m always interested in how affective these things are.

Best wishes


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