By Susan Parish-Walker
“Imagination is the Highest Kite You Can Fly.” Lauren Bacall
Have you ever taken a hot air balloon ride or have you ever been to a balloon festival and viewed the myriad of beautiful colors of balloons? What a magnificent sight, but how scary it may be the first time that you experience the hot air balloon ride. You face your fears and you attempt to let go and up high in the sky you fly. The ride is certainly worth the joy of experiencing the spectacular view. In addition, one is typically very frightened starting counseling because you are letting go of some of the control, facing some of your fears, and trusting the therapeutic process. If one is unable to manage one’s stress, consider seeking professional help. Biofeedback, imagery techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, and psychotherapy are all very helpful stress management techniques.
The following is a type of imagery technique that helps reduce stress:
“Picture yourself walking down a beautiful white sandy beach with the warm sun on your back, shoulders, and chest. You can see the seagulls flying high in the sky. Small children are at play building beautiful sandcastles. You inhale the aromas of your surroundings. You bend down to pick up a seashell and gently lift it to your ear to listen for the sounds of the ocean, just as you did when you were a small child. You cast your eyes upon the ocean and see a gorgeous white sailboat gliding inland. A friend extends his hand and invites you to climb aboard. You accept the invitation and together you sail out to sea. While you glide across the ocean, you see the warm sunshine as it sparkles on the water like diamonds. At that moment, you realize you have the power to set the direction of your sail. You can sail as far as you would like to sail and reach all of your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. You sail back into the seashore and step down off the sailboat. Feel that warm sand on your toes and feet. Inhale the sea salt aroma of the beach. As you continue to stroll down the beach of life, you see that the children have completed their sandcastles, and you suddenly realize that you are at peace with yourself.”
In summary, The cardinal rule is to be cognizant of your stress and don’t allow unhealthy stress to affect you or your partner’s emotional well-being. In the meantime, allow healthy stress to provide inspiration, motivation, and encouragement.