In the second part of this article I present to you this exercise to assist you in finding pockets of peace when you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. See if you can find a place to be alone (i.e. parked car, office, basement, closet, wherever possible). The thing that distresses you is what causes the most anxiety or angst at any given moment. This could be your boss’s pressure (or a spouse’s) to get something done, a past traumatic event, any current fear, etc.

They say that we can withstand virtually any amount of stress IF we have time to recover. This provides moments of recovery and calm in the middle of those stressful times. Enjoy…

1) Imagine yourself in a wide open field.

2) Pick one thing distressing you at this time. This is anything that is causing you anxiety (fear) or anger or hurt. You can imagine it as a shadow or darker image. You know what it is so it need not be well defined.

3) In your imagination, put some distance between you and IT. Visually imagine it getting smaller as the distance grows. Remember that this holds what is causing distress to you at this moment.

4) Begin to imagine building a brick wall between you and IT.

5) Work deliberately putting one brick on another. Know that what you fear or troubles you is in the distance.

6) Complete the wall in your own time. It can be quicker or slower but focus on the act of building. See the tools in your hand; the mortar, the bricks. With every brick you lay, the wall grows by several more—wider, taller.

7) Make sure the wall is long enough and high enough to keep you safe from the shadowy image in the distance.

8) Don’t worry about if it is possible or not, let your imagination do it. What distresses you is on the other side of the wall. Accept that you are safely cut off from IT.

9) Take a deep breath and slowly exhale as if to say ‘a job well done’.

10) Be thankful that you are okay in this moment. You can actually say, ‘thank you God for your protection in this moment’.

11) Take another deep breath accepting the safety of that moment.

12) Imagine the safety of the wall while taking another deep breath like a sigh of relief. Inhale slowly, exhale very slowly and controlled. Let your breath fill up your stomach not your chest.

13) Let go of fear, tension, or distress with each breath focusing on the safety of the wall.

14) Sit quietly in the safety of that wall for a few minutes breathing naturally. Don’t forget to assume God’s protective presence throughout this moment. He is with you and He loves you.

Don’t forget your wall as you can paint it or decorate it the next time. Keep this image in your mind and allow yourself to escape what distresses you for a few minutes a few times a day. If you do forget, you can rebuild the wall bigger and better the next time or let your imagination do it differently just for variety sake.

Written by Scott Hendrickson, MACP