Visualisation to Negate the Past

Is the past whirling like a cyclone in your mind?
Want that to stop?

In order that this blog isn’t just a number of ideas, I wanted to throw in the odd visualisation or exercise that might help you. If you’re unfamiliar with visualisation, this is how I see it. In meditation you relax your mind, in visualisation you use and direct it. A good thought or idea, programmed into the mind, can be useful. Try this one.

Your Hall of Memories

Imagine that you’re in a park, it’s a beautiful summer’s day, the temperature is perfect for you. Birds are singing, butterflies are swooping from flower to flower, bees are gathering nectar. The grass is a wonderful green and feels soft and warm beneath your feet. As you walk through the park you see a path to your right, you take it, and in front of you there is the most beautiful building. It’s a place of light and happiness. You approach the building, mount the steps, and open the door.

Inside there are many, many, shelves, and on each shelf are beautiful boxes with your name and dates on it. This section is your happy memories. You may be surprised how many boxes there are, but for children there is so much wonder in the world to be discovered, that your first butterfly, sight of the sea, rainbow, are all stored there.

At tables in the centre are angels and spiritual beings, collating your latest memories ready to store them for you, they wave and smile. As you look around the room you see a door on the back wall, there is a sign ‘room of bad memories’. You don’t want to go near it, but your feet draw you there. To one side of the door, hanging on the wall, are a key and a doorstop. You take the key, open the door, and push the doorstop under it so that you can definitely get out again.

There are tall shelves reaching high up to a ceiling with a beautiful glass dome. The boxes on these shelves are cardboard, bland, and some are broken and papers are spilling out. It doesn’t matter how many boxes there are, it’s irrelevant, because you’re about to take the power out of your bad memories.

You see a switch by the door and wonder what it does, you push it and the glass dome opens and the sun pours in. It sets fire to the boxes on the top shelf, and it quickly spreads down the shelves. You notice that in the floor there is a drain hole, and the ashes are floating down through the air, and drawn into that hole. You feel lighter.

You turn back to the door, take the key and put it on a hook inside the door, kick the doorstop down the central drain, and let the door close. You will never need to come in here again. If ever anything difficult does happen, visualise a piece of white paper, a gold pen, and write down what happened, place it in an envelope. Return to the hall of your memories and push that envelope below this door, it will slide down the slope and into that drain. Know that you have released the energy and taken the power out of that memory. Yes, you know that certain things happened, but no they don’t affect you.

As you leave the beautiful hall of your happy memories, you note that there are many shelves yet to be filled, and you make a decision that you will focus the rest of your life on filling those shelves with wonderful things. Copy this link for an audio of this visualisation (sorry it wouldn’t let me embed it).

https://anchor.fm/dashboard/episode/edlcee

Don’t forget, what the mind believes to be true will work. It’s your mind, make the decision to embrace this positive, healing, idea.

Love Your Negativity

You will be aware of the word negativity, you’ve been warned against it, scolded for being it, and probably told over and over again that if you were just more positive everything would magically be better. If I may be so bold – garbage!

Our minds are a jigsaw puzzle
of our thoughts and experiences,
all of which are useful.

Who’s your best friend?

Negativity is. When you suppress your negativity and pretend it isn’t there, battling on with a determined smile on your face whilst inside you’re falling apart, you don’t heal anything, you don’t change anything. When you face what people call negativity head on, when you listen to yourself ‘moan’, when you write that down in a journal and reflect on it, then you’re taking back your power.

Who’s your greatest teacher?

Negativity is. The negativity you express is the problem, or problems, that you have. It’s telling you plainly and simply exactly what is wrong, so stop being afraid to be ‘negative’, stop bottling your feelings up until you explode, grab that journal and make some notes about what upset and troubled you today. It will become your road map to mental health. Think about things such as:

  • What triggered that outpouring?
  • Did someone say or do something that reminded you of a bad thing that happened?
  • Did someone speak to you in a disrespectful way?
  • Did they speak truth? It’s important to know if what they said was right even if you don’t approve of the words or tone – you can deal with that later as I did the mocha!
  • Was it a song, music?
  • Was it something medical? There is such a thing as medical anxiety.
  • Is there a difficult anniversary coming up?

There are many questions but that should get you going. Just don’t forget…

NEVER WASTE A MOAN!

You Weren’t Born This Way

There are reasons why you are the way you are now, but you’re probably so exhausted by trying to cope that you have no real idea how all this happened.

Butterflies represent transformation
see them as the bad thoughts leaving your mind

The thing with stress and anxiety is that it grows on you, there is a sliding scale: stress, strain, anxiety, acute anxiety, depression, and it’s so easy to slide down that scale without realising that you joined it in the first place.

You start as a perfectly normal person, coping with your everyday life, then suddenly you feel frightened, tired, anxious about the smallest things, and you have to turn the light on and off 3 times every time you use it in case some bad, unknowable thing happens if you don’t.

Journal to take control

Find the Reasons

Forget everything else that anyone says about you and your state of mind, and start keeping a journal noting what’s happened to you in the past, and what’s happening now.

It’s really important that you understand this yourself, and don’t take other people’s words for what happened. It doesn’t matter what would or would not affect them, or how they perceive your life, how they think they would have handled, or handle, it, it only matters that you have been affected by it.

Trust Yourself First

You may not feel like a highly reliable person as you cower under the bed clothes unwilling to face another day, because life is just too much, but you are the authority on yourself, and you need to respect that idea.

I was constantly told I was an idiot, and when I went through this process I’m suggesting to you, I was stunned by how many real things had happened. It was years later that someone who had known me almost my entire life told me that I’d had the hardest life emotionally of anyone they’d ever met, and I didn’t deserve a moment of it. Hold on to that idea too.

So…

  • Create a journal, focus on what has happened to you, but be bland about it, don’t get into the emotions, look for the facts.
  • Then start writing in that journal daily, note where you’ve struggled, what has happened, and how you felt about it.

None of this is negative, this is information, it is knowledge, it is power. Just don’t use the journal as an excuse to dwell on what’s happened. If you dwell on the past it becomes your present and carries the attitudes, feelings, and decisions, that will become your future.

“The past isn’t just over, it literally no longer exists.” Gregg Braden

You’re Not Weak

If, like me, you’re anxiety isn’t a clinical issue, and you’ve been made to feel stupid, weak, a nuisance, a burden, and other equally unsupportive things, just because you’re battling your own mind, let me tell you why that thinking is wrong whether it comes from others, or originates inside.

When I went to a GP for help he said something that I’ve never forgotten. “You think you’re weak and stupid don’t you?” I nodded into my sodden handkerchief. He said “You’re not, far from it. Every single person I’ve ever seen in the state you’re in has been strong for too long, you’ve been strong beyond endurance. People like you have come to the end of their tether, reached for more inner strength, worn out that tether, until the point where they just can’t do this anymore.”

I have never forgotten those words and nor should you. This goes back to the previous post where I said you weren’t born this way, something happened. You may know what that was, and if you do then take a moment to reflect on the fact that it was a real event that hurt you. If you don’t remember, it doesn’t mean that nothing happened, if your anxiety isn’t medically based, then something did happen.

It doesn’t matter that when you find out it sounds unimportant, it meant something to you at that time, especially if you were a child without an adult’s ability to translate meaning and add it to words. Don’t second guess your younger self. Knowledge is power, it’s a tool for change, use it! Puberty alone has a lot to answer for, so does school bullying, and even work bullying.

Here are a few questions for you to consider:

  • Do you know when it started and how?
  • What is your first recollection of anxiety, how did it manifest?
  • Does it have a particular pattern (agoraphobia, flying, travel, food, etc.)?
  • Is it there all the time, or do you have quiet moments?
  • Does something specific set it off?

That’s just a few questions to help you get to know your anxiety, in order for you to start taking your power back. Until you understand it you can’t beat it. Imagine being put in the pilot’s seat of a large jet aeroplane and being asked to safely fly 500 people to the other side of the world? You wouldn’t have a clue where to start (unless you’r a pilot, in which case think brain surgery), yet someone who knows how to fly a plane (or a brain) wouldn’t even be phased by the problem. As such, you need to become fully informed about your issues.

I hope these ideas are starting to help you feel that you can take control of your mind back.

Just never forget – you’ve been too strong for your own good for too long!

Stop Listening to Others

As I’ve hinted, and will explain when I pop my story on here, the words of others can be hurtful and damaging to someone suffering from anxiety. Either they don’t understand, or they start to struggle because they can’t help you. Either way, if you’re not feeling helped by people who don’t understand or can’t help, read on…

You know they don’t understand…I know they don’t…

But they do not. Anxiety from the outside in is a completely different experience to living it from the inside out. It has to be. Anxious people feel trapped in their own minds and bodies, but to the outside it can appear that you keep talking about the same things all the time.

I liken it to doing an escapologist act where you’re chained up and you have to undo all the padlocks or you’re going to fall into a vat of piranha fish and get eaten alive and then drown, and you’ve dropped your carefully hidden escape key! No one who isn’t an escapologist would know how to unlock the padlocks, but it would make perfect sense if all you kept saying was “where’t the key…where’s the key?!” Unless you’ve been trapped by anxiety you won’t understand the focus on the things that bother you, because those are the things that need solving! Just like the whereabouts of that key. So never ignore yourself when you moan! More about that later.

Many voices make hard work!

Much as you may be fed up with your own voice, by the same token you don’t want to invite too many different opinions into your head.

There will be people who know you well, and their words will always be helpful and supportive of you. They get you. They probably saw this happen. They might feel helpless but they’ll always work to understand. They might give you a well placed kick up the butt when you need it (my mentor certainly did), but they’re on your side and you know it. Then there are the pull yourself together brigade.

These are people who get short tempered with you, tell you to snap out of it, criticise your behaviour, and generally behave as if all your mind needs is a sticking plaster and a bit of gumption!

This might be your boss who has deadlines to meet, your children who need something of you, an exhausted partner, your parents who simply can’t cope with you being this way, anyone you meet. If their attitudes aren’t positive, if their words aren’t respectful, if they trivialise what you’re going through. Time to stop listening.

I worked through acute anxiety for 22 years – not a hero, I didn’t know what else to do, it was with me every day, all day, so I had to keep going. You know how it is. When I finally crashed because just too much happened at once, my GP gave me 2 months off, and it was the finest thing that ever happened to me. I had time to think. I wasn’t in the middle of the battle all day every day. I could sleep in. I could rest. I could recuperate. I didn’t have loads of opinions around me.

When I went back to work there was a new coffee machine that dispensed Mocha. I asked a (supercilious) manager of mine “what’s mokker?” He promptly said “mosher is a mixture of coffee and chocolate, don’t you know that?” Without even thinking I replied “have you ever seen the Oxford English Dictionary? It contains thousands of words, and I make no apology for not knowing every word in it”. He immediately apologised. The important thing is that the break, the rest, the opportunity to think and reflect, had put me back into my own personal power.

Have you ever had a break?

Written to help people like us
Available from Amazon

A Lighthearted Blog on Anxiety?

The light of heart can do more!

This saying says it all. The lighter you feel in mind and emotion, the healthier and happier you feel, the more easily you will move forward into creating a better life on your own terms.

I don’t write or speak in dramatic language when I’m trying to help people solve problems, nor do I try to demonstrate my genius by complicating them. One thing I learned on my long journey is that the lighter you make a problem the easier it is to bear, and the simpler you make it, the easier it is to solve.

As you read this blog just remember that I’m spending my time writing this because, even though I probably don’t know you, I care about what your feeling, what you’re going through, what you’ve been through. I care enough to seek the simplest solutions, because that’s what took the burden from me and helped me to change, and offer them to you in case they’re useful.

I will try to write in amusing images so that maybe you smile the next time something happens instead of cringe. I’ll use imagery that you’re meant to remember easily, so that you don’t have to struggle to recall. I’ll use straightforward words so that they require no effort from you and reading them becomes a break from the complication.

I hope that you’ll go on to live your life that way. Simply, easily, looking for the fastest, least complex solution that you can, so that you move forward from okay, to better, to wonderful, with fewer tears and ongoing hurts. Fewer wasted years!

I write lightheartedly because – as you know – laughter and sleep are the two best medicines, and I definitely don’t want to send you to sleep!

I want to help you to feel light and untroubled enough to move forward and start really living again!

Hi and Why!

You are my why, and I’m yours. I’m writing this because there was a time that no one understood me, I had no support. In truth only people who’ve had anxiety really get it, really understand the replacement of the self with someone you never wanted to be. Only we know how much it hurts, how tiring, sad, lonely, and bewildering it is. I know the way out and I’m here to offer those ideas and techniques to you.

Take a deep breath

Okay, so you’re suffering from this difficult condition, maybe you have been for some time. It’s dragging you down, you’re probably tired, you’ve lost your sparkle, you may be verging on depression. The important thing to remember is that many people have felt as you do, and they have recovered. These people were no cleverer, no more intelligent, no more capable than you. It’s just that somehow, one way or another, they bought themselves back into balance, and changed their lives by changing their mind and attitude. I am one of those people.

I’ve put a little about me here, but the important message for you to remember is that I was not special, I was simply prepared to change in order to recover. you can too. So take a deep breath, try and relax, because I’m going to tell you how I did it, and the techniques are easy, using them will be as hard as you make it. Choose simplicity!

My life started off badly, mum and I nearly died the day I was born, and I was told 3 things when I was old enough to remember them. My father’s first words to me were, “ooh you, it’s all your fault”, my mother’s were “very nice, now take it away”, and when I was still a young child my father told me that when asked if the surgeon could only save one of us, who should he choose. My father told me he said “my wife of course!” As an adult I understand that, as a child I did not. I would probably have said “both, no choices!” Things went downhill from there until I was completely broken, a laughing stock, a hypochondriac (turns out I wasn’t, but more later), bullied, 3rd best in a family of 2 children, in a miserable marriage, miserable job, house I hated, with a fractured mind, wondering what the heck had happened to the real me!

So that’s the flavour, enjoy the rest of the posts, and here’s your first tip:

Anxiety puts you into fight and flight, breathe in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 8, and it will help you to calm down.