Anxiety and Swimming

I just remembered, when I was in my twenties I went through a period of having severe anxiety attacks. One therapist told me to think of place that was the safest, calmest, happiest place I could imagine and to go there whenever I felt anxious.

What I imagined was this: swimming in a very tropical setting. I actually got the idea from a neighbor’s pool where I had grown up. They dug out a pool on the edge of their woods, and then they put even more flowers and plants around it. So when you swam in their pool you were practically surrounded by trees and vegetation. It was really lovely.

I simply took that further and imagined myself swimming in a body of water that may not even exist, it was kinda like a quiet river, but in the tropics with large, colorful flowers, and great big lush greenery all around. Whenever I got scared I would just swim lazily along, looking around at this magical scenery around me.

It’s interesting that I chose swimming, of all the possible places I could have put myself. But swimming is good for anxiety, in reality. Like almost any physical activity. The abundance of nature was key to the comforting aspects of the fantasy, though.

From last week, when I was sitting in front of the laundry, watching dogs go by.