After his latest bout of anger, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy decided that he would seek a little bit of relief by doing some guided imagery exercises.
Guided imagery uses mental visualization and relaxation in order to improve one’s mood and general sense of well-being. It’s actually quite simple – it’s sort of like inventing a happy place in your mind, and then visiting that happy place in your mind. No reservations or pesky security check required.
In order to gain the most benefit from guided imagery, it’s often best to get into a comfortable position. So I took off my shoes, laid down on my bed, and closed my eyes. A couple of deep breathes, and I was ready to start!
I started envisioning someplace warm. Maybe it’s summertime. (Don’t forget, I’m south of the equator, and this week nighttime temperatures dropped into the low 20s.) There is lots of sun…in fact, I am basking in the sun!
What’s that I hear? It’s like I’m holding a seashell up to my ear. Gentle waves are breaking onto the sand. I’m at the beach! Perfect. In my mind, I have already traded my winter pants for a pair of swim trunks.
I continue to walk, and I can feel the warm sand sifting between my toes. I zig-zag, walking into the ocean every now and then to wet my feet. Pure bliss.
I consider taking off my cape, but I end up leaving it on. There’s no sense in having to deal with a sunburn later on.
All that’s missing is a cocktail. This is my guided imagery, no? Poof! I am now holding a rum and coke, with one of those cool little umbrellas. I could spend all afternoon right where I am. This is the life!
But wait – what’s that?
As I take a sip of my drink, my elbow pops. That’s not good.
I look down at my feet. What the heck is going on with those toes and ankles?
My knees are so red they look like they are sunburned. And they hurt.
My wrist send a flash of pain through my fingers and up through my arm.
This is MY guided imagery. My rheumatoid arthritis is not supposed to follow me here. Go away RA!
And just like that, all of my pain and swelling goes away.
I continue to walk into the sunset, with a big smile on my face, and with my arms thrown up in the air. That’s odd…is that person over there videotaping me?
One of my dogs barks, and I immediately teleport back to the present.
What an odd guided imagery this was. It really did seem like I was walking on that sunny beach!
I know it was all made up, though…
Or was it??
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!
P.S. In all seriousness, performing guided imagery exercises has helped me quite a bit!