Creating A Safe & Peaceful Place
“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” Prov. 18:10 NLT
If you were to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 how anxious would you say you have been feeling in 2021? Many would say that their anxiety has escalated in the last year. A feeling of calm and safety is essential for lowering anxiety and is needed to create psychological well-being. I have used the following resource with my clients for several years and have found it to be one of the gold star treatments for lessening anxiety.
Imagining yourself in a safe and peaceful place can be the go-to resource you can develop to lessen your anxiety, stress or trauma you are experiencing. When you are feeling overwhelmed or triggered in your day, you can take a moment to regulate yourself by internally returning to your safe place.
How to create a safe & peaceful place
The safe, peaceful place is somewhere you remember feeling safe and protected. It can be a known place or somewhere created purely by your imagination. Many of my clients have chosen a place set in nature such as a beautiful beach, the forest, a mountain lake, or a lush garden. For others it is a cozy living room or grandmother’s house, it is any place that represents safety, nourishment, and comfort for relaxing. It can be an imaginary place like a strong fortress mentioned in the Scripture above. This safe, peaceful place can be used before going to bed or be a place where you meet your allies to gain extra safety and support. One of the most important things is not to choose a place where you have experienced bad memories.
To get started, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down where there are minimal distractions. The place you create using your imagination should be one you would like to return to again and again. “The Christian is the really free man – he is free to have imagination. This too is our heritage. The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars. Imagination should not fly away from the truth but fly upon the truth.” (Francis Schaeffer, Art and the Bible)
Once you are relaxed imagine: What do you see? What are the colors and textures? What do you hear in this place? What smells are associated with this place? What do you feel when you are there? What are your thoughts? Notice your body relaxing in this place. Get a sense of everything you can in this place. Absorb the feelings of peacefulness. I often invite Jesus to this place and see what he is doing or saying to me.
Stay in this safe place 5 or 10 minutes. The more you do it you will find you can go help yourself let go of anxieties and stress. If you find yourself distracted or stressed, go back to your images and sensations of your safe place. Tell yourself you can return to this special place of safety and relaxation anytime. Art can be used to enhance this place or find magazines to collage it into a visual memory.
The Scriptures tell us that the name of the Lord is the ark of safety in any storms that come. As Noah’s Ark was a place of safety in the storm in that day, the name of the Lord will be the ark of safety and the ark of His presence in our day. Encountering the name of the Lord as a strong tower, and adding meditating on Scripture is a way to also enhance safe places.