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Meditations and Visualizations

Visualization and meditation, when practiced regularly, can facilitate positive changes in the body and brain. Meditation and deep breathing calm your nervous system and shift your body from stress into rest and restore. They are associated with a decrease in anxiety, depression and increased ability to focus.

Visualization and mental rehearsal change the brain, and create new neural networks, which is know as neuroplasticity. As Donald Herb puts it, "neurons that fire together wire together". When you focus on negative images or thoughts those neurons become stronger. Choosing to focus on positive visualization and thoughts wires them into your brain.

Visualizing creates changes in the brain in the same way physical actions do. Imagining a positive parental relationship creates new neural networks that support beliefs about relationships, love and trust. Repetition is vital to consolidate these changes.

Try the progressive relaxation and peaceful place visualization (MP3, 5.8 MB, 16:46)

Ideal Parent Visualizations

Ideal parent visualizations, when practiced daily, help people develop a positive stable internal working model of attachment and secure relationships. Studies show that practicing the ideal parent visualization repeatedly leads to more regulated emotions, stable relationships, and higher quality of life.

These visualizations are adapted from the work of Dr. Brown:

Heart-focused Breathing with Visualization

The HeartMath Institute researches heart-focused breathing. Studies have found that heart-focused breathing is associated with health benefits like decreasing blood pressure, improved sleep, decrease in symptoms of depression and anxiety, and sense of harmony.

This mediation is an adaption from the HeartMath Institute: