Use of mental imaging as an anxiety treatment method
While there are many wonderful medications that aid in the treatment of anxiety symptoms, there are other methods for controlling anxiety as well. Mental imaging is one such treatment.
Mental imaging is used in many instances and professions. Professional sports players, speakers, and actors use mental imaging. For the purpose of anxiety, mental imaging works as a relaxation technique. It can be used to negate negative thoughts, and replace those negative thoughts with positive images that help one to face or get through a situation that makes them feel anxious.
To practice mental imaging, you must predetermine what your image will be. Will you see yourself handling a tough situation? Will you see yourself doing something that you didn’t think you could do? Again, you need to have your mental image ready to go before you need it.
The hardest part of mental imaging remembers to use it when you need it. This is not always easy to do when you are feeling anxious, and worries are clouding your mind. You may also need mental imaging aids at the beginning, such as cassette tapes to get you into the state of mental imaging. You may need to close your eyes to practice mental imaging in the beginning as well.
Mental imaging can also be used outside of anxious situations — when you are calm — to help build confidence in yourself.
In fact, people who suffer from anxiety disorders who practice mental imaging outside of anxious situations find that the anxiety episodes that they do have are fewer and far between — and that they don’t last as long.
While mental imaging is very easy, and can be done by anyone, it should not be used to replace medical treatment for anxiety. You still need treatment from a doctor, and you can discuss mental imaging with your doctor.