your dog chewed your favorite shoes. Rather, heavy burdens that are hitting you one right after the other.
Disappointments. Illness. Unhappy relationships. Losses. Grief. The list is endless. Any which way we look at it, carrying heavy burdens, especially over a length of time, can take a toll on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To move forward in healing and to manage this stress, it will entail self-care.
One powerful method of self-care is practicing creative visualization. According to the Free Dictionary, visualization is a technique involved with focusing on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.
An inspiring quote that I love about visualization, which sums it up quite nice is by Robert Collier who says, "Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build."
This morning, I decided to practice creative visualization to reduce my own stress levels. With the recent loss of my two pets, my husband's job loss, and my mom's battle with malignant stage 3 brain cancer, I've experienced insomnia, anxiety, and depression. In order to take back some form of control over painful situations in which I do not have control, I believe the kindest act of self-care that I can offer myself is visualization.
So I lit my non-toxic tealight candle inside a beautiful pink Himalayan salt holder and listened to a YouTube video of soothing sounds to promote relaxation. Closing my eyes, I was magically transported to a beautiful ocean where I could envision sea gulls flying overhead, feel the warm sun radiating on my skin, and see myself walking barefoot on the sandy beach. With the waves lapping against the shore, blissful peace gently washed over me.
Other musical options to use for visualization include soothing soundtracks of calming atmospheres, strings, piano, and guitar. For stress relief, some people enjoy nature music with the soft pitter-patter of raindrops, birds singing in the distance, or flowing waterfalls. While your preference may vary, choose a style of tranquil tunes that resonates within your own spirit.
While I sincerely believe visualization can produce positive results for our health, peace of mind, and to calm ourselves during stressful events, in my research I came upon blogs that were quite negative on the topic of Christianity and visualization. Basically, these posts attacked Christians who believe in visualization. They said it is not biblical and they opposed it. Although I can try to see their point of view, I disagree 100% with what they are implying; that visualization is cult-like and not from God.
As I scoured through the Bible, I came across one scripture that confirmed visualization can be beneficial. Having a vision for improved health can enhance a person's wellness. Visualizing a broken relationship being restored may give a couple hope and actually prevent divorce! To see your business flourishing when in reality it is financially in the red can produce new solutions to turn your job around for the good.
Yes, there may be naysayers, but it is legalism in the ugliest form. Let's get one thing straight, I am not preaching or proclaiming that Jesus is a Santa Claus in which we pray for something and automatically get whatever we want. Visualization is not a get rich quick scheme, nor is it a "name it and claim it" type of belief.
So what does the Bible say about visualization? In Proverbs 29:18 (KJV), the Word declares, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
Could it be that our heavenly Maker desires for us to have a vision? That He designed us to have such an amazing imagination that we could dream big, aspire to become more than we ever thought possible, or that visualization would give us hope to draw us closer to Him as we walk in faith trusting that anything is possible with God?
As a woman of faith for 23 years, I do practice and believe in visualization because I have personally experienced the positive results. Here are a few amazing benefits of visualization:
- Stress Relief - When you quiet your mind and allow yourself time to relax, it can help reduce your stress. Visualizing something positive can decrease the amount of stress you confront on a daily basis.
- Improved Mood - Experiencing hope and joy through visualization can boost your mood! With an improvement in your mood, it can lead to feelings of calm, peace, joy, and confidence that everything in your life will work out fine.
- Overcome Obstacles - One of the benefits of creative visualization is having the ability to overcome obstacles. When you visualize a better outcome of a situation, it can help you to troubleshoot potential problems and to find resourceful ways to rise above adversity.
- Positive Attitude - When you envision something good happening in your life it can produce a positive attitude. Therefore, when you have a positive attitude, your perspective on negative circumstances begins to shift. Suddenly, you see the brighter side of a situation. What was once hopeless becomes hopeful!
Visualization Tips: In order to reap the most benefits from visualization, consider a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. If you prefer soft music in the background, find soothing sounds that lift your spirits. For relaxation, you may light candles or diffuse pure essential oils, such as lavender, frankincense, or bergamot. You can lay on your bed, sit in a comfortable chair, or even soak in a warm bathtub. Utilize all five of your senses when visualizing; sight, sound, touch, taste, and scent. Allow yourself to be creative in what you experience that may promote a positive emotion within you. For example, if you enjoy nature with the great outdoors, be open to visualizing this atmosphere. Lastly, if you want to take visualization up to the next level, create your own vision board that can be seen each day to give you the confidence to transform your dream into a reality. The amazing ideas and healthy benefits are limitless!