Safe Place Meditation
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
I just uploaded a Safe Place meditation to my Free Meditations page. This meditation is very popular with my clients dealing with trauma and physical pain, because it allows you to imagine yourself somewhere else. Below are the words to the meditation, so that you can read them to yourself if you want to, instead of listening. But first, you need to choose a safe place that you want to go to in your imagination. It might be a happy memory, or your own bed, or a beautiful outdoor scene. Before starting the meditation, I often ask clients how much distress they are feeling, from zero to ten, with zero being about to fall asleep in your own bed, to ten being in the middle of a panic attack. After you imagine yourself in your safe place, you can see whether your distress level went down. If it went down to 3-4, I encourage you to spend another few moments in your safe place until it goes down to 1-2.
Instructions for Safe Place Meditation:
- Make sure you're sitting comfortably, with both feet on the floor, and if you feel comfortable doing so allow your eyes to close.
- Bring your attention to your breathing, noticing your belly expand when you inhale and contract when you exhale, without trying to change anything.
- Sometimes one's attention is like a toddler or a puppy, running around and trying to get away. Just gently, with as much tenderness as you can, guide that toddler or puppy back, bring your attention back to the sensations of breathing.
- Notice if you feel tension or pain in any part of your body, and fill that part of your body with your breath, allowing it to relax.
- Now begin to imagine yourself in your safe place.
- Notice the body sensations of being in your safe place.
- Notice if you feel warm or cold.
- Notice the sensations of your joints, and the position of your body in your safe place. Maybe you are sitting, or lying down, or standing, or moving around.
- Notice the sensations of your skin, and any surfaces you are touching or pressing into.
- Notice the sensations of the air in your safe place, if it's still or moving. Notice the sensations of the air on your skin, in your safe place.
- Imagine the smell sensations of being in your safe place. Notice what you might smell, noticing the smells in your safe place.
- Imagine the sounds that you might hear being in your safe place.
- Imagine if you gently open your eyes in your safe place, the quality of the light, the colors and shapes, and what you might see in your safe place.
- Spend another minute or two noticing all the sensations of being in your safe place.
- The body sensations, the temperature, the position of your body.
- The skin sensations, the sensations of the air in your safe place.
- The smell sensations of being in your safe place.
- The sounds you might be hearing in your safe place.
- The quality of the light, and the visual sensations of your safe place.
- Notice if you feel calmer now, or if you need to spend another minute or two in your safe place.
- When you're ready to leave your safe place, remember that your safe place is always there for you to go back to, whenever you need to.
- Returning to your body, to the here and now, bring your attention back to the sensations of breathing.
- Take a couple of deep breaths, filling your belly with air all the way, letting each breath out maybe with a sigh.
- You don't need to focus on anything.
- In your own time, when you feel ready, very softly allow your eyes to open, and slowly bring your attention back to the outside.