How I love to think about the beach. Whether it is in the middle of a Colorado winter, or the middle of the summer, I find great peace thinking of the rolling waves, gentle breezes, salty aroma, and warm sand of a beach. Many therapists refer to this as a safe place, but I prefer to think of it as a peaceful place. Either way, it’s a wonderful reprieve during a stressful time in life. I often tell clients who are struggling with anxiety, stress or trauma to think of their peaceful place when they have an onset of anxious or stressful symptoms. I tell them to imagine the sights and sounds, smells and feelings of their place. I encourage them to breathe deeply, enjoy the sights and sounds, relax and spend a few minutes there. Doing so can lower heart rate, decrease cortisol levels and increase endorphins, all of which improve the way one feels. As I consider my next vacation- literally or figuratively, I invite you to consider yours. Where is your peaceful place?
Tamra Hughes, MA, LPC http://www.thcounseling.com