Safe Space Meditation
Meditation and mindfulness is scientifically proven to improve brain function, balance emotions and live a more fulfilling life. However, at the outset there can be a great deal of trepidation as the hidden psyche is full of fear. A safe space practice can be a helpful starting point to build a future practice and face the psyche’s fears.
What is this meditation?
This is a simple practice of visualising and sense feeling being in a place, real or imaginary, that creates the experience of safety. Most humans will develop this practice naturally as a child in response to life events, so it is a natural technique to create a feeling of security in dealing with life.
Choosing the safe place
The place does not need to be real or somewhere on earth, nor does the imaginary place need to be fanciful or complex. Often somewhere in nature, a building, specific people or animals can create the feeling of calm initially sought in the safe place.
The space should be visualised and felt-sensed as an experience in the meditation. If visualisation is tricky that is not a problem, try to tap into the other senses such as sounds, smells, temperature etc for the whole body-mind experience. Bring people into it if desired, or be alone if that is preferred.
The place should be easy for the mind to access quickly so it can be helpful to create ‘prompts’ to access the safe place. This is where visualisation helps as the visual cortex in the brain switches the brain function away from the immediate threat and to another mode. Selecting a simple visual prompt will make the safe space practical to access in daily life and during deep meditation or yoga nidra practices. If visualisation is hard, try to write it down in words to consolidate it to the brain’s recall.
Building the safe space into your life
When the safe space practice begins take the time to embed the space into the body and mind. Return to it frequently throughout the day to build a habitual relationship with it. This will make it more accessible when the body and mind are in fear mode.
Select ‘trigger’ events in daily life to prompt return to the safe space, for example, when the phone pings for a message received. This is especially helpful if the events are something stressful or challenging in each day.
Return to the safe space in writing and read it aloud, or record a description of a visit there and listen to the recording.
Go to the safe space each morning and night as you wake and go to sleep. Build it into the anticipation and wind down of the day.
Why it helps?
This is a fabulous practice for everyone, but especially children and those with mental health challenges.
Some of the benefits include:
Creating a sense of security that can be returned to.
Building predictability that is fully within the control of the meditator.
Creates a container with clear boundaries.
Builds the feeling of power to control the inner environment.
Shifts the mind to a positive perspective.
Builds new neural pathways of relaxation in the mind.
Opens space for creativity and that the options can be limitless.
Physical benefits include possible reduced heart rate, blood pressure and brain waves for hormonal balance and headaches.
When I was depressed I could not think of a fluffy white cloud without dragons and demons coming to slay me. Nothing was lovely or nice in my mind, and I was not safe from my psyche. I have experienced trauma from meditations and yoga nidra when my psyche went towards my depression. This practice was a huge transition to begin the journey into meeting depression, and somewhere I return to daily.