Visualize What You Want
Most of us thirdagers are so busy taking care of others that we often lose sight of what we want for ourselves. This can be especially true for women, the traditional caregivers in our society. If you cant remember the last time you did something just for you, guided imagery may be able to help you put you in touch with your own desires.
"Practicing guided imagery exercises can help you relax and discover some of the things that will satisfy your deepest needs and wants," says Alice Domar, Ph.D., director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
The co-author, with Henry Dreher, of Self-Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself as Effectively as You Care for Everyone Else, Dr. Domar suggests trying the following technique for maximizing emotional well-being:
- Sit or lie down comfortably. Take several slow, deep breaths.
- Clear your mind of stray thoughts and chatter. If thoughts come up, just relax, exhale and let them float away. Focus solely on your breath and your mind will stay clear.
- Visualize yourself three months from now. Ask yourself, "How do I want to be spending my time then? What would I most like to be doing?" Then visualize yourself doing some of these things, focusing on the good feelings that these activities would bring you.
Do this exercise once a day, says Dr. Domar, to help increase peace of mind, self-knowledge, and joy. "Self-nurturing should be part of everyone's day," says Dr. Domar. "Taking care of your emotions can lead to feeling more balanced and satisfied."