Many of us have anxiety and many of us have been through something traumatic. No matter what age you are you can adapt this exercise to suit you and help you soothe you. It is called your special place. It should take about 10-15 minutes. Choose somewhere quiet and comfortable and practice this everyday. It is a form of mindfulness so keep up the practice for a good six months at least.Many children I see, practice this exercise after school or after tea as it's a nice wind down activity. Have a go see what you think!
Your Special Place
Today you are getting the chance to design your very own special place in your imagination. This is a place where you can visit in your imagination when you want to feel safe, powerful and secure.
But, first, let’s get settled and relaxed before you start your journey. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, filling your stomach like a balloon. Then breathe out, letting your stomach balloon fall flat.
Now you see in your imagination that there is an enormous door in front of you. Behind that door is the entry way to your very own special place. This place can be any place that you want, a place that is calm, relaxing and feels very, very good to you. It can be an ocean, desert, island, forest, the inside of a castle, a cave, on the moon, a star, a planet far, far away or a simple closet under the stairs. It is the first image that comes to you when you hear the words, “special place.”
Now, quietly walk up to the door and place your hand on the doorknob. As you open the door, your special place will unfold before you and you will be free to enter. On the count of three, one. . .two. . .three. Open the door and step across the threshold into your special place. There it is before your eyes!
What do you see before you? Know that all of this place is your own creation. If you would like to add a tree, rock, an animal friend, flower, star, anything at all, it is up to you. Practice adding a special item to your place. Beautiful! Now practice making it disappear. It is all in your power, you decide what is allowed into your special place. Everything in this place is created by you. No one can enter or exit without your permission. You create every bit of it!
What sounds do you hear? You can add other sounds if you would like, just push your virtual play button and allow the sounds to play. Wonderful!
Now find a comfortable spot to lie down in your special place. Just relax for a few minutes, taking in the view around you, listening to what is happening in your special place. Know that this place is entirely complete and whole. You are complete and enough in your special place. Breathe into your heart and connect fully with feelings of relaxation. Breathe through your heart centre. Relax. Let go of the outside world that is beyond this place. Relax. Let go. (pause) Beautiful!
Know that you can return here whenever you like. Now it is time to leave. Gently get up and walk back to the door, pause to look over your shoulder for another glimpse of your special place, knowing that you can return in any moment.
At the door, step over the threshold back through the door and close it behind you. If you would like you can lock the door and place the key in a special location that you can find later when you want to return. The key to return is always with you in your imagination.
Taking two deep breaths in, you can open your eyes when you are ready.
If you have any comments about this exercise or would like to ask me a question. Why not drop me a line on the contact me form. For more information on how I work and how CBT can help children with anxiety, why not give me a call on 0161 8831156