I can see it.

The forest is sweet with shade and speckled with sunlight.  Patches of moss carpet the floor, cool and spongy under my bare feet.  I like the way it feels. It makes me smile. There are soft yellow southern sun drops and climbing pink cosmos. Wild geraniums and lupine dot the landscape with shades of violet blue. The scent of wild honeysuckle kisses the breeze.  There’s green everywhere, and the air is alive with the quiet ancient energy of spring.

Up ahead I can see the clearing.  A towering old oak tree takes center stage with wonderfully twisted boughs. Its limbs stretched out. An invitation to draw closer. At the base of its massive trunk is a nook just perfect in size. Perfect for me, anyways. Sitting there, ever so still, close my eyes and breathe. No thoughts, no worries, no rush, no hurry. It’s just me, visualizing my favorite quiet place.

It doesn’t really exist, not the forest, not the tree. It’s just a picture I paint for myself when I need it. Today I needed it. I get headaches I don’t have time for. Visualizing helps me calm down, floods my brain with happy chemicals of the natural variety, melting my headache into nothing. It’s amazing what you can do with your mind with a little bit of energy and focus. Three minutes in my forest, and the pain recedes.

But what about you? Have you ever tried visualization as a pain management alternative?

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