I hope you are setting aside some time today for an activity that brings you peace or joy!
It could be something simple like looking out the window and observing what you see. That alone can help me refocus and reframe my present experiences, such as noting any birds, flowers, or colors and finding appreciation for their existence. If you don’t have something like that available to you, feel free to explore this recent photo I took. What can you imagine feeling in this space?
With the brain, it doesn’t matter whether something is real or tangible, or if it is simply a visualization. The thoughts we associate with a visual cue or other sensory experience can turn on the parasympathetic nervous system or they can engage the sympathetic nervous system. That’s why past experiences can sometimes seem so powerful even in the present. This power can be cultivated, however, to bring more good into your life even if it is not yet tangible. Intentional thoughts and using the imagination to create pleasant experiences can help tip the scales back to balance in terms of the mind-body connection.
Positive or peaceful thoughts link to our parasympathetic nervous system (which manages rest + digest processes). It restores us.
Things like stress or worry can stir up the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze/fawn), which is healthy every now and then as it helps our survival, but sometimes that impulse is misguided into a chronic state of activation and that’s where problems can emerge. We can also become stuck with an overactive sympathetic nervous system if the stress we encounter is not being effectively managed in a way that allows the body to rebalance and regulate, but instead just adds to the pile.
If that resonates with you, I encourage you to bring more attention to your thoughts and how you can curate them to align more to what will be most helpful to you to hear or experience. You can start by visualizing the life you want for yourself or the experiences you currently yearn for. The tangibility or logistics for these experiences are not needed to simply visualize them and still soak in the feelings of it being so.