At times of stress we all need somewhere to go that is stress free to relax and rest our system. This reduces stress hormone and blood pressure improves mood and makes us happier. At the present time the need to get away from the stresses of everyday life have rarely bee greater.
If you are lucky you have a physical place that you can to and just chill and relax. It might a special place near where you live. Or it might be somewhere like a room in your house. It could simply be chair or a special corner of a room.
Using a mobile safe space
However if you can’t find anywhere around you there are other options. It may be difficult to create a safe place while you are at work. At home have kids or family to look after. Or you might be in a situation where there is no place to go or nowhere in your home. It is then that you need a mobile safe place that you can access at anytime, anywhere in any situation. This is when you need to go within yourself and create an internal safe place. Then you can simply close your eyes and just go there. The more you visit your safe place the easier and quicker it is to get to.
Safe place and your brain
Right in the centre of your brain is the amygdala. This is a tiny almond shaped organ that is responsible for the stress response that is called ‘fight, flight or freeze’. The amygdala becomes aroused, for reasons often below your awareness. These could be unresolved emotional issues, you may need therapy, or current stressful situations. Then stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released in the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. These are designed to keep us safe as a common reaction to threat and stress that allows us to respond. When the system is often activated in this way we call it anxiety. If the activation is continuous when no real stressor remains present it is described as generalise anxiety disorder or GAD. However the pressures of everyday life can lead to a continued level of stress hormones in our body and brain.
When our system is in continual stress response of fight, flight, freeze the stress hormones negatively effect our cardiovascular system. The first thing that happens is raised blood pressure. With this come the increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Hi blood pressure often underlies many diseases. The second is the with continual levels stress hormone, adrenaline and cortisol etc, can lead to a hardening of the arteries which further increases the incidence of heart attack and stroke. It can also be the cause of vascular dementia. In reality stress hormone is probably the biggest cause of heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia above all other causes.
In our society many people are doers not be-ers. The ability to just ‘be’ is an art form. When we give more value to what we do and what we achieve rather than how well we can relax and simply just ‘be’ then life goes out of balance. Creating a safe place rebalances the system and teaches us to learn ‘be’ rather than continually doing.
Meditation and a safe place
The ability to meditate can be part of creating a safe place. Meditating is not doing something though it is actively doing something it is being. To learn to simply ‘be’ through the process of meditation will transform your cardiovascular system and your psychological mood. Making you happier and healthier. Meditation is a technique, there are many techniques, and creating a safe place is a method using a visualised space that you create in your mind. Both meditation and visualise safe place have beneficial effects on health and mood.
Finding your safe place
If you close your eyes, relax and visualise a safe place where would it be? It could be somewhere that you have visited such as a park or a wood. It might be your family home or a room. It could be complete a fantasy that you have created in your mind. It is somewhere where nothing can hurt and nothing can harm, where all you need to do is to relax, free from the stresses and anxieties of your everyday life. When you visit that space you are completely and utterly safe and secure.
Come to the beach
On the Live In The Present website in the mindfulness toolbox you will find a recording called The Beach. This a guided relaxation/meditation for you to visualise and create your own safe place. You construct your own beach. It might be one that you already know or one that you could imagine would be your ideal, perfect beach.
Essentially a visualise safe place is somewhere where you can go in an instant at any time where nobody wants anything and nobody needs anything. Where you are completely and utterly safe and completely secure. Where nothing can hurt you and nothing can harm you al you have to do is relax and simply just be. Regular, even daily, use of an inner safe place can be life transforming to the point where people may ask you what is different about because you seem so different and calm. When you learn to use your safe place you will find that the things that once made you feel stressed and anxious now make you feel calm. This is because they no longer have a negative effect on your amygdala and your levels of stress hormone are now drastically reduced. Pretty good for the investment of twenty minutes a day, and you might even life a longer, happier and healthier life.
Be happy stay safe and enjoy your safe space