2 Powerful Techniques That Instantly Eliminate Stress

You can use these visualization techniques anytime, anywhere.

stressed man in dark room Beach Stoked / Shutterstock

When your world crashes in and you can't manage the irritations, arguments, and aggravations for another minute, take a break.

Withdrawing from everyday annoyances for just a few minutes can dramatically reduce the feeling of overload.

By interrupting the patterns of disturbing interactions, thoughts, and worries, you benefit by improving brain function and relaxing the body.

Find a quiet place where you will be uninterrupted for five minutes. (Your retreat may have to be the bathroom and that's okay!)


Give yourself permission to take a brief time out. Sit and relax. Try either or both of these effective mindful strategies with your eyes closed if you're someplace where that's practical and safe.

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Here are two powerful visualization techniques to instantly eliminate stress:

1. The balloon

Visualize an empty balloon. Now imagine filling the balloon by blowing all disruptive thoughts and feelings into it. Take your time, exhaling slowly into the balloon several times. Tie the balloon with all your concerns tightly contained and let it go.

Watch as it floats away into the atmosphere and off into the galaxy. See it disappear into space. Feel that all your negative energies are being released and re-forming into something else. Know that the debilitating thoughts are no longer needed and are now gone. Observe feelings in the body and thoughts in the mind without the burden of those old energies. Repeat as often as needed.

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2. The sandy beach

Imagine strolling along a sandy beach. In your mind's eye, observe massive ocean waves forming and crashing onto the shore flowing toward your feet. The waves ebb back out into the huge expanse of sea and vanish. Another group of waves forms and the cycle is repeated.


As the next waves come in, gather together all negative thoughts and emotions and dump them onto the waves. Watch as they get carried out and disappear into the vastness of the ocean. Trust that all hurtful thoughts have been absorbed and transformed by the ocean’s power. Open your eyes. You should feel a little lighter. Repeat this process several times.

Visualizations work by actually giving the mind an opportunity to see the peace and calm you desire. The mind cannot independently decipher whether an experience is real or not. By visualizing the disposal of negative or harmful thoughts, your experience feels authentic.

For those few moments, it is your truth. In this way, your mind is relieved and your brain signals the body to relax.  The benefits are physiological and psychological. At the end of just a few minutes, you'll feel infinitely better. 


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Peggy Sealfon is a personal development coach who spends her time helping people overcome life's big and small challenges.