Our imaginations are powerful: what we think, what we create in our minds can have a very real physiological and emotional effect on us. The ‘Safe Place’ exercise draws on this. It is a guided imagery, relaxation exercise that can reduce anxiety, offer a break away from overwhelming feelings, and help children and adults face life challenges from a position of calmness and strength. In this exercise, you are guided to imagine a place in which you feel safe and calm, a place in which you are reminded of your wisdom, strength, qualities and skills. You can visit your ‘safe place’ as part of your daily routine, or when you are feeling overwhelmed. It is equally loved by children and adults. It may be helpful to ask someone you trust and feel comfortable with to read the script to you, or perhaps you can read it to your child/parent/partner/sibling/friend/colleague… Enjoy!
The Safe Place
Take a deep breath and find a comfortable position.
Close your eyes if you would like.
Just for a moment, become aware of your breathing.
Notice the rise and fall of your breath.
Notice how it feels as you breathe in.
Notice how it feels as you breathe out.
You may find yourself getting distracted, as other thoughts or sounds grab your attention.
Just notice the thoughts and sounds, and then let them pass.
Return to your breathing – and notice how you are inviting calmness and stillness into your life.
Now, imagine that you are in a special place – a place where you feel safe, and calm, and free.
A place that is filled with peace and pleasure.
Perhaps it is a place you have visited before, or perhaps it is a place you create in your imagination.
Have a look around – what do you notice?
What do you see? What colours do you notice?
What can you hear?
What can you smell?
Imagine yourself in your safe place.
What are you doing?
Notice that you are feeling calm and strong, as you remember your strengths, and skills, and special qualities.
Before you leave your safe place, take a look around and see what else you notice.
Remember, this is a special place, a place that lives within you, a place you can visit any time you choose.
And everytime you visit this safe place, you are reminded of your strength and of what makes you special.
Now, go back to noticing your breathing.
And when you’re ready, you may open your eyes, keeping hold of those feelings of calmness and strength.