JPM – 27 JUN 22

Prompt: My personal retreat space is….

It is important that you have a physical, or inward, place that you can retreat to after exhausting days/experience. You don’t HAVE to have a physical place to escape to if you are able to detach from your surrounding environment for a few minutes to go to a personal quiet and safe space.

One of the questions might be, BUT HOW?!

Maybe your mind runs non-stop, maybe you’re constantly over analyzing every single event, and if that is the case, it is okay. Learn to control your mind through controlling your body. Here is a very simple drill:

1) Take :60 to perform box breathing with a 6 second count. 6 second inhale; 6 second hold; 6 second exhale; 6 second hold and repeat for a minute.

2) Imagine a tranquil location. For me, I picture a childhood vacation spot, a small A frame cabin at the end of the road on a lake in north eastern Pennsylvania.

3) Build out your tranquil location with your senses. Focus on each sense imagining what you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste (yes taste). Build it out to the lowest possible level to make the experience as vivid as possible.

4) As you feel your mind beginning to wander, hone in on one of your senses. Imagine the smell of the flowers, the sound of trickling water, maybe the wind through the leaves in the trees. Force your mind back into experiencing the tranquility.

5) When you feel your body relax. Slowly imagine yourself exiting that tranquil place. I often imagine driving away as I sit in the back of my parent’s station wagon. But use whatever method connects you to that spot. Maybe walking or cycling. It is a way to signify to your mind a distinct entrance and exit from your tranquil place to make it seem more realistic.

Use this retreat space as needed throughout your day/week. You will find that it is a great way to prepare yourself for situations of high anxiety or allow yourself to recover from a high stress environment.

Start writing it out and enjoy your week!

~ Dr. Ty

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