It’s easy to lose sight of the greater goal when we get caught up in the details. Step forward to survey the broader landscape, however, and we discover a renewed focus and a clear direction.
Take a Mental Vacation
Palm fronds open like eyelashes and through them we see a paradisiacal beach complete with pale sand, turquoise water and cloud puffs floating in a deep blue sky. We can imagine treasures pushed up onto the beach by frothy ocean fingers – whelks, olives, cat’s paws and conchs – as well as friendly fauna swimming in the shallows.
Taking a quick “mental vacation” when stressed can be very calming. That’s why soothing images in offices and homes are so popular. Seeing a beautiful scene breaks the chain of anxiety and puts everything into perspective. Perhaps reading the above descriptive paragraph has already begun to have a calming effect on you.
Even when you can’t physically remove yourself from a stressful or difficult situation, you can look at a beautiful picture or close your eyes and imagine a peaceful scene. If closing your eyes just isn’t possible, layer the imaginative scene over what you’re actually viewing (a bland cubicle wall, your angry boss) much like the “pretend everyone is in their underwear” protocol when you’re giving a speech.
This is such a simple solution to an age-old problem, it doesn’t seem like it would actually work. But you’d be surprised how quickly a tranquil image can dissipate negative feelings.
The next time you feel pressured from every conceivable angle, try taking time out for a “mental vacation.” You don’t even need to bring sunscreen!
Can’t fit a picture on the wall? How about a desk-sized print?
Desk too cluttered? How about a motivational coffee mug covered with beautiful imagery?