Unfortunately it is impossible to eliminate intrusive or obsessive thoughts simply by will power or by engaging the logical rational brain. The thoughts are deeply ingrained and powered by emotions. However, learning a meditation for obsessive thoughts and behaviours can be extremely helpful.
This means that visualisation techniques can be used very effectively as an aid to recovery – visualisation by-passes our rational brains and gets straight into the heart of our emotional brain circuits.
You can do this simple visualisation any time – especially when you are being troubled by the intrusive thoughts.
Find somewhere quiet and comfortable where you won’t be disturbed. Either sitting or standing‚ close your eyes and move your attention to your breath. To become aware of your breathing‚ place one hand on your upper chest and one on your stomach. Take a breath and let your stomach swell forward as you breathe in and fall back gently as you breathe out. Take the same depth of breath each time and try to get a steady rhythm going. Your hand on your chest should have little or no movement.
When you feel comfortable with this technique‚ try to slow your breathing rate down by instituting a short pause after you have breathed out and before you breathe in again. Initially‚ it may feel as though you are not getting enough air in‚ but with regular practice this slower rate will soon start to feel comfortable.
It is often helpful to develop a cycle where you count to three when you breathe in‚ pause‚ and then count to five when you breathe out – trying to make the out breath a little longer than the in breath. This will also help you focus on your breathing without any other thoughts coming into your mind. If you are aware of other thoughts entering your mind‚ just let them go and bring your attention back to counting and breathing. Continue doing this for a few minutes.
Now move your attention to your feet. Try to really feel your feet. See if you can feel each toe. Picture the base of your feet and visualise roots growing slowly out through your soles and down into the earth. The roots are growing with quickening pace and are reaching deep into the soil of the earth. You are now rooted firmly to the earth and feel stable like a large oak or redwood tree. Stay with this feeling of grounded safety and security for a few moments.
Once you have created a strong feeling or impression of being grounded like a tree‚ I want you to visualise a cloud of bright light forming way above you. A bolt of lightning from the luminous cloud hits the crown of your head‚ and that ignites a band of bright white light descending slowly from your head all the way down your body‚ over your legs‚ and out past your toes. As the band of light passes over you‚ feel it clearing your mental state. It is illuminating your mind and clearing any rubbish that you may have been thinking about. Repeat this image four or five times until you feel a sense of clearing and release from any anxious thinking.
In finishing‚ see yourself standing under a large‚ luminescent waterfall. The water is radiant and bubbling with vitality and life. As you stand under the waterfall‚ you can feel the water run over every inch of your body‚ soothing you and instilling within you a sense of deep calm. Try to taste the water. Open your mouth and let it run into your mouth‚ refreshing you. Hear it as it bounces off the ground around you. The water is life itself and it is washing away stress and worry from your mind and body.
After a moment‚ open your eyes.
Try to use all of your senses when carrying out the visualisation. To make the pictures in your mind as real as possible‚ use your senses of touch‚ taste‚ and hearing. Feel the water trickle down your body; hear the sound it makes as it splashes over you.
Need some advice and support?
If you are interested in learning more about meditation for obsessive thoughts and behavours or indeed any other emotional issues or life challenges and would like to talk things over in complete confidentiality, call Alison Winfield, Mindfully Well Counselling Cork on 087 9934541.
Book a counselling session today!