Go on a mental holiday.

1 Nov 2013

I have battled with depression and emotional instability for a very long time and sometimes find it very hard to 'snap out of' a low mood.

I do have one trick up my sleeve though that the more I use, the more I enjoy. I'd like to share it with you, because it's easier to do than you think.

Basically I'm going to explain my version of a mental holiday. Not a holiday where everyone goes mad, drinks too much, and comes home with a random tattoo. My mental holiday is about a vacation from my tiring, negative, sometimes overwhelming thoughts, and it is free and easy, requiring only the smallest amount of effort.

What I do when things are unbearable is visualise myself packing all my problems into a suitcase and boarding an airplane. I visualise the plane taking off and ascending higher and higher. I look out through the window at the terrible dark clouds and rain (generally reflecting my mood) and I watch as the sky clears and the plane breaks through into beautiful sunshine, blue skies and calm. Higher and higher the plane goes and the dark clouds are no longer in sight, they are way below me now. I feel calmer and for just a few minutes I feel detatched from everything, safe, peaceful and calm.

I have a few different things I do on my mental holiday, each time I try something a bit different. In the early days I decided to press the button to call the air stewardess, have her come and then request she have my suitcase thrown off the plane. The technicalities of how she would do this mid-flight don't seem to worry me because she smiles at me and says "what a good idea, ill do that for you now" and then she offers me the nicest tasting cocktail ever.

On a recent mental holiday I decided the airplane kept on climbing higher and higher and it turned into space travel and my views of the earth were astonishing, I tried to locate my problems and zoom in on them back down on earth but I realised there was much more fascinating stuff to look at and consider.

My old favourite is to land my plane on a tropical paradise beach, sit on the shore in a hammock, and breathe deeply enjoying a sunset and the sound of the waves.

The trick is to let your imagination do the work, just get immersed in the holiday feeling you often get when you are taking off for a well earned break. It is rare these days I can afford a holiday but I don't let that stop me and since I learned this mental holiday was free and there any time I needed it, I enjoy my 5-10 mins out immensely. Give it a try. Where will your imagination take you?

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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