Visualization Exercises Can Conquer Anxiety

Thursday, October 29 2015 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Using visualization exercises to conquer anxiety is a very powerful thing to do. These techniques involve using the imagination to create vivid, realistic images of what you want to achieve—in this case, a life free from life-restricting anxiety. When you make them part of your anxiety treatment routine, you truly can conquer anxiety with visualization exercises.

Visualization exercises are powerful tools you can use to conquer anxiety. Learn the 'Room With A View' visualization exercise here. Watch now.Visualization exercises are powerful because they are effective and they’re powerful because they put you in control of conquering your anxiety. Visualization techniques come from within you. Sure, someone might guide you through an exercise or suggest images for visualization, but, ultimately, you are the creative force behind the imagery, and you are in charge of shaping your life as you want it.

Types of Visualization Exercises for Conquering Anxiety

Much research exists supporting the effectiveness of visualization in shaping our lives, including ridding ourselves of anxiety. This is good news. News that is equally good is that visualization doesn’t come with a rigid and inflexible instruction manual. There isn’t a single right (or wrong) way to use visualization exercises to conquer anxiety. That means we don’t have to have new anxieties around using imagery incorrectly.

While there isn’t a single correct way to visualize a successful life free from anxiety, there are different approaches to conquering anxiety through visualization exercises. A few basic types include:

  • Guided visualization, in which another person such as a voice on an app, someone on a DVD, etc. leads listeners through a specific exercise, having them picture intentional images
  • Self-directed visualization, in which you create your own exercise and lead your own mind through the process
  • Specific exercises, in which the visualization is focused on a given topic or image (How To Create A Safe Place For Mental Illness Recovery)
  • General imagery, in which you allow your mind to wander freely but with limits from you (when your mind drifts toward anxieties and worries, for example, you gently redirect it to positive imagery)

In Conquering Anxiety, Visualization Exercises Have a Focus

In order to conquer anxiety, visualization exercises should help people focus purposefully on a life free from anxiety. Some visualization exercises recall times in the past during which anxiety wasn’t so intense. Others look at the present to identify what’s working and where anxiety does not occur. Still others project images into the future to visualize a life free from anxiety.

The following video provides a sample technique called room with a view. Room with a view is a visualization exercise that allows people to shift their perspective and, over time, conquer anxiety.

Visualization Exercise For Anxiety: A Room With A View

You can also connect with Tanya J. Peterson on her website, Google+, Facebook, Twitter,Linkedin and Pinterest.

Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

View all posts by Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC.

Visualization Exercises Can Conquer Anxiety

John
says:
October, 29 2015 at 1:08 am

Visualization to get a life free of anxiety I think is a good statement. I get anxiety and depression all the time. It does seem to start with anxiety. A person does need to train their minds to be free of anxiety. With time snd patience this technique could work. Thanks.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 11 2015 at 12:55 pm

Hi John,
Anxiety and depression often occur together -- you're not alone in this! Many times the cycle does begin with anxiety and anxious thoughts. Visualization can help do exactly what you mention: train the mind to be free. You're right, too, that this takes patience and practice. It's not an instant fix, but it can be a deeply effective one over time.

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