When I googled “visualization”, it stated that the verb means: to form a mental image of or to imagine.
I would say this is true with regards to using visualization as a technique for dealing with anxiety and emetophobia. There are two types of visualization I use, or at least try to use when I’m not feeling great.
1 – I try and visualize a calm place, somewhere where I feel safe. To be honest I can’t say this technique works for me when I’m in the throes of a panic attack. By that time, it is past any visualization helping. But if I find my brain wandering off to places it shouldn’t at 1am, I try and re-focus my mind on happy, positive scenarios. Playing with my son for example, feeling happy, telling myself that even if I DO vomit, my life will still be the same. Vomiting does NOT have to change anything.
2 – The second type of visualization I use is before we do something that I am particularly anxious about. So for example a wedding, meal out or anything formal. I try and picture myself having a good time, feeling relaxed, talking to my friends and enjoying myself. This leads on to the What-Iffing which will make up my W post tomorrow :) Join me then!
I am no “visualization” expert as you can see. I have dabbled with mindfulness though and some of the apps you can get for this. I like how it tries to focus your mind but I always find my mind still drifts off to thoughts I don’t wish to have. And I start to worry I’ll have a panic or be sick during the mindfulness session – and yoga classes I’ve been to. Not so relaxing as they should be!