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Stress-Busting Strategy: Take a Conscious Mental Vacation

Life presents many kinds of stress, which can be chronic, unexpected, or some combination of the two. At times, stress might feel overwhelming. If you can’t stop what you’re doing and travel away on a vacation, you can still use a strategy to relieve your stress.

As a child, I loved to visit my grandparents’ farm. Out in one field, there was a group of trees with a clearing beneath them. I spent many happy hours there, in what I called my Playhouse. I let my imagination flow freely with all kinds of wonderful scenarios, such as travel, castles, and adventures.

As an adult, whenever I experienced stress and needed to take a break, I could not always leave the situation or go have fun. However, I could choose to take a Conscious Mental Vacation. I’d close my eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine myself back in the Playhouse. I imagined the setting as vividly as I could by using all of my senses. I would see the trees swaying, feel the cool wind on my face, hear the birds chirping, taste the chewing gum in my mouth, and feel the rich earth under my feet. By the way, using all of your senses in this manner is one method of grounding, or being fully present in your body. By taking a Conscious Mental Vacation to the Playhouse, breathing deeply, and grounding in this way, I could relax and release the stress that I felt. My muscles would soften and my thoughts would come back into focus. At that point, I felt refreshed and able to return to the task at hand.

Do you have a favorite peaceful place? It could be in the mountains, by the ocean, at the lake, in a cave, in a flowery field, or in your grandmother’s easy chair. It could even be a place you haven’t yet visited that is on your bucket list. Breathe deeply and imagine your peaceful beautiful place as vividly as you can, using all of your senses. Have you got it? Now you know that you can return there for a Conscious Mental Vacation any time you’d like. If you need more assistance in reducing your stress or dealing with problems, please call me for an appointment at 512.687.3436.

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