Escaping Discomfort through Mindful Imagination

In the midst of physical discomfort after indulging, I experimented with imagination, mentally escaping my suffering body. Traveling through the cosmos in my mind provided an unexpected relief, offering a refreshing break from pain. Activating imagination, I discovered a potent tool to ease not only physical but also emotional suffering, reshaping life experiences.

The day after my son’s birthday party I wasn’t feeling so well.  I admit I abused my body a bit the night before.  A little too much of the food and drink that I grew up loving to eat, but knowing that if I had too much, I would regret it.

Well, I was regretting it.

I woke up at 4 am with a little headache and wondering if I was going to vomit or if I was just going to suffer through my body processing what I’d punished it with the night before.

Then, the thought occurred to me:  I wonder what would happen if I just decided to imagine taking a little vacation from my body and went somewhere else in my mind.  Being in my body was just so uncomfortable right now.

So, I did. 

I closed my eyes, imagined blasting right out of the top of my head and shooting straight up into the atmosphere.  I didn’t even slow down moving through the clouds over my house and just kept going into outer space.

I shot right past the moon, then Mars, then Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.  I didn’t see Pluto.  I just kept going across the galaxy and saw other stars, nebula and way off in the distance, other galaxies.  It was really an interesting experience, and I was just making it all up.  Oddly, it felt good.  Really good.

After a few minutes of this “imagineering” experience, I decided to return to my body just to see what it felt like.  Even more strangely, my body felt better…a lot better.  I was still suffering from some food hangover, but it felt better.

I went back to bed and decided to do that same exercise again while lying in bed then drifted off to sleep for a while and woke up feeling better yet.  Not perfect, but better.

Coincidence?  Perhaps.  But I’ve suffered with food sensitivity my entire life.  It’s why I founded this website and it’s what I’ve taught in my medical practice for years.  It usually takes the better part of a day for the “food hangover” to wear off, but this morning was extraordinarily different.

So, what happened?  Not for sure, but I think taking a little break from my suffering body gave my mind the chance to do something else while my body did it’s best to rid itself of the tasty poison I’d put in it the night before.  I think it also gave my emotional mind a break from the suffering and allowed for a quick emotional reset.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t care what happened.  I felt better after taking a second to do exactly what I teach my students to do:  activate your imagination and create some space between you and your suffering emotions.  It’s fantastic exercise that seems to provide relief from almost any sort of suffering we experience in life.

It never ceases to amaze me how different our experience of life becomes when we activate our imagination, release our emotional attachment to life as we know it and try on another “imagined reality” just to see how it feels.

This morning, it felt fantastic.



Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new health-related practice or program.