Getting into the Right Headspace with The White Room Meditation
I started this practice within the last year that is incredibly powerful in helping me whenever I find myself stuck in my head – whether I’m having anxiety, stress, feel like I’m being overwhelmed with negative thoughts, or am just not in the mental space I want to be in.
I do this practice so often that I know how to tell myself exactly what I need to hear. But when I started, it wasn’t so easy.
That’s because our thoughts are like habits, and we are creatures of habit. Just like waking up and swinging your feet out of bed (or hitting snooze on the alarm clock), sitting in the same spot on the couch every day, scrolling through Instagram mindlessly or picking up staples on your grocery list – our thoughts often happen naturally without really thinking about why or how they got there.
So, it would make sense that when we find ourselves trapped in a circle of repeating unwanted thoughts that we don’t know how to get out of them. Our thoughts become like any other habit that we haven’t tried to change – or haven’t even thought to change – because we think them without giving them a second thought.
And the negative thoughts are just like bad habits – no one tries to pick up a bad habit and no one chooses to feel overwhelmed or like crap – but somehow these things creep up on us and before we know it, we have to choose to make a conscious effort to change our thoughts so that they don’t consume us.
Without going into too much psychotherapy here, a lot of our fears that lead to anxiety are false beliefs that we develop as children. It is human nature to want to feel love and acceptance – it’s in our DNA to fear loss, betrayal, and abandonment. These are pretty heavy things even for most adults to navigate – so when we first experience and learn these emotions as kids without having developed emotional intelligence – it’s no wonder that we have no idea how to deal with these deep-rooted emotions as adults.
While I absolutely cannot say enough good things about finding a safe, non-judgmental space to work through these emotions when they are happening to such an extent that they’re affecting your life, there is a practice you can do right now to help calm your fears and anxiety. I call it the White Room Meditation.
How to do the White Room Meditation:
1. Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed for at least 5 minutes.
2. Close your eyes and start to take a few deep breaths.
3. Imagine yourself in a big white room filled with a soothing, bright white soothing light filling the room. Imagine yourself on a big couch or bed filled with the softest, fluffiest comforter you can think of.
4. Take a few moments to really feel the space – breathe in the clean air, feel the soothing light on your skin, and feel the touch of the soft blankets around you.
5. Once you’re settled in your safe space, bring to mind any fears, worries, or anxieties that are on your mind.
6. Now, bring another version of yourself into the room – it can be your current self in a calm state or a future version of yourself, and tell yourself exactly what you need to hear to feel better.
7. Spend as much time as you need here, and when you’re ready, open your eyes and notice how you’re feeling.
If you’re not sure what to say, here’s how the scenario looks in my head for a helpful starting point:
I imagine my future self coming into the room and telling me, “I’ve been where you are and I know you’re going to get through this because I’ve been there. You’re going to get through this and you’re going to feel better.” I’ve also had my “future self” tell me things along the lines of…
“You’re a good person and you deserve to feel okay.”
“It’s okay to take some time for yourself to process.”
“It’s understandable that you feel the way you’re feeling, and you won’t feel this way forever.”
If you’re hesitant to trying this practice because you don’t know what to say – that’s okay. I encourage you to give it a try because you might find that you already know exactly what you need to hear (and sometimes when it’s “someone else” saying these things to you, they come out so much easier).
You don’t have to be experiencing an all-time low in order to change your thoughts and feel better, and this practice has been instrumental in helping me navigate feelings of stress, anxiety and worry and get into a positive headspace so I can continue doing things that bring me joy.