Switching back to a reprieve skill now. This skill builds on that same idea that we can activate endogenous opioids by taking control of our attention system in the frontal lobes. Instead of attending on the sensory system we are going to attend directly to the thinking or cognitive system.
Change the Mental Channel
Now lets take a moment to creatively identify some themes for each channel you are going to practice. What themed shows do you want to turn on in your imagination? Let the story lines run amok and grab your attention.
- Exciting Channel: What are at least three things that you would find exciting?
- Fantasy Channel: What are three things that are totally out of the bounds of reality?
- Calming Channel: What are three things that would be totally calming, not anxiety provoking, no drama.
Now its time to practice! Using a timer, set it to three minutes. When you are ready start the timer and begin by imagining the exciting channel, when you are ready switch to the Fantasy channel, eventually switching to the Calming channel. What did you notice about your pain when you practiced? Did it change?
This skill continues to explore ways of helping your brain activate the endogenous opioids system. This particular skill aims to change the focus of attention by taking a mental vacation with fully immersive sensory experiences - essentially creating dream-like sensations.
Let's practice! Like guided imagery, immersive visualization guides you through an adventure in your mind. However, it is unique because it focuses on using all five senses which should engage those amazing natural opioids!!
Before you begin take a moment to rate your pain from 0-10. Go ahead and write it down.
Rate your pain again. How do you feel? Write down your responses and whether or not you are going to keep this skill as part of your Master Plan.
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