Visualizing and pain: Exercise

Pain is not only a physical, but also an emotional thing - and making use of visualizing can influence emotions. It is very hard to have pain for a long time. It can make you insecure, gloomy and afraid of what is to come. It is not for nothing that pain arises in the 'emotional part' of our brain. It is therefore also important to learn how to better adjust that 'emotional part' of the brain. If you can adjust it, you can work on your pain. 

Seeking emotional solutions to pain

One way to adjust your feelings that has been used for centuries is called 'visualizing'. Visualizing means that someone tries to imagine something as well as possible. As if you are trying to 'see' with your eyes closed what you are imagining. 

Visualizing

When it comes to pain, you can reduce the influence of your pain by practicing visualisation. This does not happen by itself, as always the case here is that exercise is important for the result. 

What you do in the exercise, is that you present your pain in such a way that you get a grip on it. So you imagine that your pain is something you can do something about. 

Below you will find a number of possibilities to visualize. When you start working on this, it is important to sit in a quiet place - where you can concentrate. If you are seated correctly, breathe in and out quietly a number of times. Then you will introduce the exercise as well as possible. Hold on to that for a few minutes. If you notice that you are wandering, bring your attention back to the exercise. 

Exercises

1. Imagine pain as loud music. Imagine then that you turn down the volume knob and keep it there.
2. Imagine your pain as 'pop-up' screens on the computer, which you can click away.
3. You can imagine that everything that has to do with your pain goes into a garbage bag at that moment, which goes away when it is full.
4. You can imagine blowing away your pain on a breath, breathing in the healthy air.

By doing these exercises regularly, you will become better at applying visualizations. Some people get so good at it, that they can regulate their feelings of pain faster and faster by visualizing them briefly!

Louis Zantema
Louis Zantema, MSc

Louis is a GZ-Psychologist with a great passion for gaming. For him, a game training that offers therapy is the most valuable thing you can develop: especially for pain complaints, which are on the interesting intersection of body and mind. His aim is to make himself dispensable as a therapist.

21 October 2019 - 13:16