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Mental Health TreatmentRecovery Exercises3 Visualization Stress Reduction Exercises - BlueSky Behavioral Health

June 23, 2021by BlueSky

3 Visualization Stress Reduction Exercises

Practice Exercise 1: A Simple Visualization-to-Action Sequence 

  1. In a quiet room, sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Complete your SDB (slow deep breathing) routine until your stress level is below 4. If you are unfamiliar with the SDB routine check out the article “9 Steps to De-Stress Through Breathing” before you continue. 
  2. Visualize yourself getting out of a chair and picking up an object from one side of the room, for example, a book. Bring that object to the other side of the room and place a second object on top of it. 
  3. Attain a clear picture of yourself completing that action in your mind. Once you have completed the action end the visualization with five repetitions of the positive affirmation “I want it; do it!” 
  4. Open your eyes, and without delay, do exactly what you visualized yourself doing. After you have completed the action sequence, praise yourself for matching your movements to your visualization (do not criticize yourself in any way!). 

Practice Exercise 2: A Complex Visualization

  1. In a quiet room, sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Complete your SDB routine until your stress level is below 3
  2. Think of someone close to you who you have not spoken to in a while that you would like to call. Imagine what it will be like to hear their voice. Imagine what you will say when you greet the person. Think about what you will talk about, and how the conversation will be a pleasant one. Visualize the person’s phone number; repeat the number to yourself. See it clearly in your mind. Ponder where the person lives and what they are doing in their life. Once you have done this end the visualization with five repetitions of the positive affirmation “I want it; do it!” 
  3. Open your eyes and, without delay, do exactly what you visualized yourself doing. After you have completed the action sequence, praise yourself for matching your actions to your visualization (only greet yourself with praise!). If the person you choose to visualize is not home on the first call, continue to call until they pick up. 

Practice Exercise 3: Visualizing Self-Control 

  1. In a quiet room, sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Complete your SDB routine until your stress level is below 3.
  2. Think about an addictive activity that is harmful to you. Perhaps drinking alcohol, cutting yourself, speeding, using drugs, experiencing rage, or having unprotected sex with strangers.  
  3. Imagine yourself not doing the harmful activity for the next _____ day(s) (you decide: one to seven days). Visualize what your schedule will look like on those days, and what you will be doing to help avoid your destructive activity (perhaps you will use SDB). Imagine who can help you reach your goal. Picture in your mind how happy you will feel to see yourself succeed in avoiding your addiction for your chosen number of days.
  4. Open your eyes and, without delay, begin to obtain exactly what you visualized yourself wanting. After you have completed each day of the action sequence, praise yourself for matching your actions to your visualization (only greet yourself with praise!).
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 each day of your chosen number of addiction-free days. 
  6. After you have completed the chosen number of days, you will be free of your harmful activity. Reward yourself with something healthy such as a movie, food from your favorite restaurant, book, or personal item that makes you happy. 

Key Exercise Considerations:

  • Identify the source of your stress. Is it caused by something in your environment? Or is it from within your own mind? Once you identify the “it,” describe it in simple words. From there, explain the effect the stressor has on you. What emotions do you feel? What action impulses do you experience? Are your thoughts racing? Are your thoughts confused? 
  • Write down whatever you experience in simple sentences. Use neutral, not emotionally charged words. For example, “My boyfriend just said that he likes redheads (stressor). Since I have blonde hair I felt angry (emotion). I want to yell at him for insulting me (action impulse). My thoughts are speeding up (effect on thought process).” 
  • Use the positive affirmations “I am in control” and “I think before I act” to help you avoid impulsive actions. 
  • Visualize a healthy course of action. Make your vision clear and enticing so that you want to complete it. Repeat to yourself, “I want it, do it!” 
  • Open your eyes and execute your visualized action sequence. Obtain the results you desire. 
  • IGNORE all negative thoughts. Stay in the Recovery Zone. Take advantage of the guidance you have available and connect with a BlueSky Behavioral Expert today. 

You can live well! Start your journey to recovery with BlueSky Behavioral Health. Get the best mental health treatment by visiting https://blueskyrecovery.com or call (888) 822-7348.

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      BlueSky Behavioral Health provides personalized care for mental health issues and addictions. Our dedicated staff will create an individualized treatment and recovery plan for you or your loved one. We offer Supportive Independent Living with case management and life skills training for those who need a respite away from home but do not need a full residential stay.

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