Categories > Cartoons > South Park > Learning to Swim - A Creek (Craig x Tweek) Fanfic

Chapter Twenty One - Head above Water

by CrimsonCrowCreek 0 reviews

Over the course of several years, our adorable wholesome faves Tweek and Craig support each other as friends and as lovers, from grade school to college, Colorado to California, to go through a lot...

Category: South Park - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [V] [X] [R] [Y] - Published: 2022-04-27 - 5562 words - Complete

Head above Water (to get out of a stressful situation, usually related to a lot of work.)
California, June 2015, Summer
They watched endless movies over the next few days while Tweek rode out the intense waves of depression and agitation during his few waking hours. When he wasn’t staring at the laptop, willing his eyes to focus and his heart racing as his vision blurred, he slept. The nausea was constant. He threw up several times a day, more violently than he had after the funeral. He shivered and sweated, trembling constantly. He quickly found himself bitterly longing for a simple repeat of what he had suffered after his parents’ funeral. His withdrawal symptoms had then been largely limited to the compulsive urge to eat and the overwhelming need to sleep. He would happily have taken the fever again, the vomiting, the fainting. Now he found himself longing for the ability to be functional.
He knew he had reached a healthy weight before his relapse, when he had gained forty pounds. But after Sam had caught him and he had started using again, he had stopped eating except for when Craig intervened. The internet said Tweek was verging on dangerously underweight, and that his body had gone into starvation mode. Unsurprised, he watched his body quickly softening again as he began eating regular meals. While he felt some residual anxiety at the new padding over his hips and ribs and thickening of his limbs, on a deeper level he was relieved to see it.
Nearly a week into the detox he was starting to feel something close to being a human again. Despite having a few more hallucinations of the shadow people, he would simply call for Craig if he wasn’t already there and distract himself. The bugs hadn’t come back.
He had even gone out for a walk with Craig, albeit a very slow one that only lasted a few blocks before he ran out of steam and Craig offered to piggyback him home. Tweek felt himself laughing properly for what felt like far too long as they giggled childishly at the feat.
Craig gently squeezed Tweek’s legs as he spoke. ‘Ha. I truly mean this in the most positive way. I can feel that you’re a bit heavier, and I’m not complaining because it’s fucking lovely, and it’s also nice that you’re not stabbing me with your hipbones and ribs in my back and your collarbones in my neck.’
Tweek laughed shakily and pretended to squeeze Craig’s throat as he hung on. His hands were healing well but were still freshly rebandaged. He knew Craig was holding him too carefully for him to have to do any work. ‘What is that passive aggressive thing people used to stick on Myspace? A real friend stabs you in the front?’
‘Ha. Yes, exactly. Now let me drop you so you can stick me with one of your rib bones and get me right between mine.’
‘No. Carry me home.’
Neither of them stopped laughing as they reached their street and Craig began to trudge up the slight incline to their building. He gently let Tweek down and unlocked the front door. They both stepped inside and made their way to the bedroom. Tweek sat on the edge of the bed. Craig hesitated for a moment, then sat beside him. He took a deep breath and looked sideways at Tweek as he began to speak.
‘Hey, Tweek. Look, I know we’re having fun, and I’m really glad. I don’t want to ruin the mood. But if you’re feeling up to it, I think it’s potentially a good time to start talking about the mental health techniques I’ve been reading up on.’
Tweek nodded. ‘Oh, yeah, totally. The sooner the better. Can I lie down though?’
‘Of course. Can I get you anything?’
‘We’ve got Dr Pepper in the fridge right?’
‘We sure do. I’ll grab some.’
‘Thanks handsome.’
Craig was gone for a few seconds, then returned with a couple of cans. He handed one to Tweek and cracked open the tab on his own, taking a swig. He grabbed the exercise book they’d bought from the side of the bed and flicked it open.
‘Ok. Let’s get started. Tell me when you’ve had enough, ok?’
Tweek poked his tongue out. ‘I always do.’
Craig laughed and shook his head. ‘Charming. Ok. So. Do you know what the amygdala is?’
Tweek frowned. ‘No?’
‘Oh, thank God. Neither did I, ha.’
‘Nice. Babe, you’re not some inherent ignoramus just because your life turned to shit and you dropped out of high school. You’ve got your GED. Standardised testing is exclusionary racist bullshit that doesn’t give any leeway for neurodivergence, etc etc. I definitely couldn’t do what you do and neither could any of the other useless niche academics I work with. Anyway. What is it?’
‘You really have no chill and I fucking love it. Ok, so Dr Know says it’s the part of the brain that controls fight or flight response. Obviously that’s just a primal thing from when we were still getting chased by saber tooth tigers or whatever.’
‘Or giant guinea pigs. Or small ones with sharp teeth who smell the treats in your pocket.’
He poked at the edge of Craig’s pants and made an eerily apt squeaking noise. Piccolo looked up from where she had been chewing a piece of carrot on the floor, alarmed. Craig laughed as quietly as he could to not startle Piccolo as he tried to look serious. He knew he was failing miserably.
‘Yes. Hey can you shut up a second and let me tell you how our brains work please?’
‘Sorry. Yes, please.’ Tweek placed his can on the windowsill by the bed, snuggled down and pressed his head against Craig’s thigh.
‘It’s real big of you. Soooo, when you get scared or anxious or overwhelmed or whatever, fight or flight gets triggered. And that happens in the amygdala. It actually disables the frontal lobe that you think with, so that while you’re panicking you can’t think rationally. That’s why it’s so hard to pull yourself out of it. That’s why you end up wanting to self-harm to get out of it, or why you feel so overwhelmed that you can’t see things clearly and think you’d be better dead so you don’t have to keep feeling it. And this is some serious adrenaline from the primal panic signals your brain is giving you, which is why you’re always so exhausted afterwards.’
Slowly, Tweek nodded. ‘That makes…a lot of sense.’
Craig gently stroked Tweek’s hair as he went on. ‘The thing is, the more you feel like this, the easier it is to feel like this. Because these thought patterns basically get burned into your brain. Dr Know thinks that depression happens because of too much exhausting anxiety and amygdala hijack over a period of time just making your brain exhausted to the point where it isn’t functioning as a baseline. She can’t prove it, but it makes sense.’
Tweek kissed Craig’s thigh. ‘Thanks for reading all that, that’s really helpful. So, I guess the obvious question is, what can we do?’
Craig flipped through the exercise book, which he had filled with pages and pages of his messy writing.
‘A lot more than we’ve been doing, frankly. Um. Here it is. Don’t fight the feelings. Don’t fight the thoughts. Don’t think of them as inherently bad or good, even though obviously some are way more pleasant and comfortable than others. Think of them as messengers. Imagine them as leaves floating past you down the river. Think about what they’re doing to try and protect you. Take some deep breaths and focus on getting your heart rate down. Then, start writing down everything you’re feeling. Think about where it comes from. Think about if it’s rational. Then you can identify the thought viruses and reframe your thinking.’
‘Ok. That sounds manageable. It will take a lot of practice though. What are thought viruses?’
‘I’ll get there in a second, it’s a big deal. But firstly let me show you more on what I’ve put for quick way to physically calm yourself down a bit first. This is from another book, Note to Self. I think this one is more directed at kids, ha. It’s written really simply and there are lots of pictures. I genuinely really like it. I mean, Dr Know’s CBT book with the stuff about the amygdala and the thought viruses is technically for teenagers.’
‘Yeah, that’s really good.’
‘You know both of these counsellors are from New Zealand?’
‘Huh, nice. I mean, as a country they seem pretty chill.’
‘Maybe this is why, ha. Anyway, this is where I’ve made the lists of stuff you can do to pull yourself out of a panic attack so you can start sorting through the thoughts that lead to it.’
He pointed at two pages he had filled with bulleted points. Tweek gently took the exercise book from him and began to read. He could tell Craig had tried really hard to write legibly and it helped.
Physical things to do when you’re feeling anxious/stressed:
- Relax your shoulders. Unlock your jaw. Take your tongue off the roof of your mouth. Shake your arms and hands and fingers out. Do some big sighs. Turn your ankles and kick your legs. Wriggle your toes
- Notice all the yellow (or any other colour!) things in the room
- Notice sounds, let them come and go
- Find and touch three things in the room with different textures
- Go for a walk, or just step outside for some fresh air
- Don’t fight the feeling – know it’s just a feeling and you can ride it out
- Take a ‘positivity shower’ and imagine each drop is a positive thought you’ve had about yourself, or a compliment you’ve received
- Write down everything that is worrying you
Feeling overwhelmed? STOP!
- Stop and press pause
- Take a deep breath, then focus on taking more of them
- Observe your thoughts, feelings, body – do a mental and physical check in with yourself so you can identify why you don’t feel good and give yourself what you need to feel better
- Proceed helpfully and mindfully: look after yourself
He flipped the page to find more of the information Craig had written down.
Grounding: How to focus on the present and ground yourself in the moment by engaging your breath and your senses
- Take a deep breath and feel your body expand
- Feel your feet on the ground and imagine you’re growing your roots into the earth
- Feel your body soften as you exhale
- Look for
o 5 things you can see
o 4 things you can feel
o 3 things you can hear
o 2 things you can smell
o 1 kind thing to say about yourself
Breathing techniques for calmness
- Count: Count as you breath in and out; I like to do 7 and 7, prefer not to hold and only through my nose
- Breathe in: Breathe in the calm and the love
- Breathe out: Breathe out the tension and the worry
- Focus: Focus on feeling your body soften and swell
- Breathe in: Breathe in and think ‘I am loved’
- Breathe out: Breathe out and think ‘My heart is safe’
- Rescue: Rescue breath if needed: take in the biggest breath you can, then exhale hard and quickly
- Alternate: Alternate nostril breathing; hold one nostril closed and swap periodically
- Arms: Take some deep breaths with your arms folded above your head to open chest cavity
He looked up at Craig, who was looking out the window and up at the sky.
‘This is…wow. This is amazing. Thank you, Craig.’
Craig smiled.
‘You’re welcome. I definitely needed it too.’
‘So, after you’ve done that, then it’s time for the CBT? Is that linked to thought viruses?’
‘Yup, they’re a big part of it. So, I learned the basics of CBT from The Book of Knowing, the yellow book by Dr Know that taught me everything about the amygdala that I just told you.’
‘In a nutshell, cognitive behavioural therapy is what actually helps anxiety, not SSRIs. I mean, they can help a bit, but they’re not addressing the cause. CBT is a Socratic method of challenging your negative thoughts. You’re effective interrogating yourself and asking yourself ‘why do you think that?’ and ‘is it rational?’ It’s based in the understanding that, as we discussed, when you have an adrenaline rush from external triggers, your body goes into survival mode, and your brain goes into the fight or flight mode. As we discussed, the amygdala hijack means you aren’t thinking rationally. CBT is about understanding that thoughts form belief systems, whether positive or negative, and irrational thoughts create exaggerated emotions. Dr Know talks about A, B, C. A is for activating – the thing that happened to you. B is the belief; that’s you processing it in your mind and attributing meaning to it, whether it be rational or irrational. C is for consequence; that’s your external reaction. CBT is about understanding this, and thinking of your brain operating a bit like a computer. Computers get viruses, and your brain can internalise thought viruses. CBT is about knowing what the thought viruses are and how to reframe your thinking to correct it.’
‘That all makes sense. What are the thought viruses?’
Craig smiled and turned the page of the book. He pointed to his writing. ‘Here they are.’
Thought viruses:
- Negative mental filter
- All or nothing thinking (it’s either perfect or terrible; no nuance)
- Discounting the positives
- Overgeneralising, i.e. one failure makes you an inherent failure
- Magnification/catastrophizing – distorted perception filter
- Minimisation of positives
- Jumping to conclusions: mind-reading or fortune telling
- Emotional reasoning – evaluating situations by how we feel the reality rather than the facts
- Wishing things were different when they can’t be changed
- Cognitive reasoning – thinking your negative opinion is a fact
- Personalisation – ‘it’s all my fault’
- ‘Should’ (instructional ‘should’s are helpful (empowering choice), but moralistic ‘should’s are not (as they demand something of you))
- ‘I can’t stand it’ – that’s not true, you just don’t like it
‘Here, look I’ve also added in ways of cognitively restricting this thinking when it’s been affected by these viruses.’
- Reattributing meaning in a way that doesn’t come from an irrational emotional response
- Considering possible alternative causes for events Identifying and disputing irrational, unhelpful, and untrue thoughts
- That Socratic internal process: why do I think that?
- How can I frame my thoughts in a healthier, more productive way?
‘So, the way you deal with this is to write down everything that’s bothering you, and then go through and look for the thought viruses. Then you can go through and reattribute meaning in a more rational way. Look, I wrote down all the questions you can use to challenge unhelpful thoughts.’
- What is a more helpful thought?
- Am I confusing this thought with a fact or jumping to conclusions?
- If my friend had this thought what would I say?
- What’s the realistic worst case scenario here? Is it likely? What could I do to cope if it happened?
- Am I assuming my view of things is the only one possible?
- Am I assuming I have no control to influence or change my situation?
- Am I predicting or mind-reading? (more on this soon)
- Am I taking this too personally?
- Am I taking responsibility when I don’t need to?
- Am I being too negative about myself, and/or focusing on my weaknesses rather than strengths?
- Am I asking questions with no answers, or that are out of my control?
- Am I expecting too much of myself?
- Am I ruminating on how things should be instead of accepting and dealing with reality?
- Is this true or realistic? What if the opposite were true? What is a more realistic/helpful thought?
Tweek shook his head in disbelief. To his shock, he found himself beaming. His face hurt from smiling. ‘Ha. You know Tucker, it’s wild to me that you don’t think you’re smart.’
He looked up at Craig to see his expression reflected back at him as Craig replied.
‘Yeah. You know, this is probably really premature, but I thought – nah.’
‘No, what?’
Craig shrugged. ‘I mean, I find this really rewarding. And it also just makes sense to me. I was thinking that maybe, at some point, I might want to train as a counsellor.’
Tweek squeezed his hand. ‘That sounds amazing.’
With a sudden rush of energy, Tweek scrambled up to kneel beside Craig and survey him as he spoke.
‘You’d seriously be the best counsellor. You explained all this stuff so well, and you’re so kind. I’d honestly feel a lot keener to find one and actually invest and dedicate to working with someone rather than just doing it this way if I knew I could have one who actually gets it. Seriously. You could help so many queer people, so many people who are going through the kind of stuff you’ve been through.’
Craig smiled as Tweek clasped his hands and went on.
‘Craig, you’re so smart and so tough. I mean, I can also seeing you being an amazing social worker or a teacher or even a lawyer. You could do anything you set your mind to, if you wanted to. That being said, you’re an awesome mechanic. Just, whatever makes you happy. And I know I’ll have student debt but that’s ok. And you do whatever you want, whenever you want. But once I finish college in a year or two and start working full time I’ll be able to support us.’
Slowly Craig nodded. ‘Huh. You know, I really hadn’t thought of that. But I guess you’re right?’
Tweek nodded enthusiastically. ‘Yes. Hey, even if you wanted to start before then we could make that work too. I’d have the tutoring job, and even if I don’t I’m a hell of a barista, and I can be a kitchen hand or a waiter or work the till. Lots of places have high turnover rates because objectively hospo kinda sucks, but I truly don’t give a fuck so I’d stick it out. Even if I have to work sixty hours a week over several gigs mopping floors and flipping burgers and washing dishes so you could give your all to studying. No matter what, we’d get through. ’
Craig beamed at Tweek. ‘Thank you, Tweek. We can figure all that out later. But you’re right, it’s really exciting to think of everything I could do. I guess this is exactly what they mean when they talk about getting out of survival mood and actually being able to dream. And don’t worry, I definitely know that I have your support.’
He lifted Tweek’s hand to his mouth and gently kissed it. Suddenly Craig’s phone buzzed. He squeezed Tweek’s hand as he pulled his phone from his pocket and swiped to open the screen.
‘Oh hey, it’s Tricia. Do you want to say hi? No pressure.’
Tweek paused for a second. He had completely eschewed any kind of social contact for the last few weeks as he focused everything he had on making it through each day. But, yes. He missed Tricia. And, more importantly, he finally felt up to talking to someone. Craig was unique in that he didn’t drain Tweek to talk to in the way anybody else did.
Tweek smiled and brought Craig’s hand to his mouth to kiss it. ‘Yeah. I’d love to.’
Craig grinned as he answered the phone. Tweek could hear the grin in his voice as he greeted Tricia. ‘Hey, Trish. How’s it going?’
Tweek could just hear her voice through the speaker.
‘Hey, Craig. I’m good thanks, how are you?’
‘I’m good. Hey, I’ve got Tweek here, he’d like to say hi.’
‘Oh, really? That’s – wow, that’s awesome! Yeah, put him on!’
Tweek grinned back as he took the phone from Craig.
‘Thanks Craig. Hey, Tricia!’
‘Tweek! How are you, man? Are you ok?’
There had never been any bullshit with Tricia, even when they were young kids. Tweek had always loved that about her. ‘Hey, yeah I’m still feeling pretty goddamn shit to be perfectly frank, ha. But it’s definitely getting better, slowly.’
‘That’s amazing.’
‘Yeah, I think so too.’
‘I’m really proud of you.’
‘Aw, thanks Trish. I’m proud of you too.’
‘Ha, why? I’m not beating a massive addiction like an absolute boss.’
‘Haha, aw. Don’t get me started, you’re an absolute baddie and you know it.’
‘Yeah, you’re right. I do! Anyway, when are you guys coming out here?’
‘I’m not totally sure yet, but hopefully soon!’
‘Saavni keeps asking about you too. I mean, I haven’t told anyone what’s happening, but she’d love to see you. And, yes, I do mean you specifically.’
‘Aw, that’s really sweet.’
‘I’ve been hanging out with Lucy and Holly quite a bit too, we’re doing the same hot yoga class. I don’t give a fuck how basic that is, ha, it’s really fun.’
Tweek laughed and adopted an exaggeratedly high pitched voice. ‘Oh no, look at me, I’m Tricia Tucker and I think a detoxing meth head will judge me for enjoying hot yoga.’
‘Touche, ombre. Anyway. They do keep asking how you are every time we hang out. It’s like that episode of the Simpsons where they added a new character to the Itchy and Scratchy show and Homer voices him and goes in with his suggestions for how to improve the show. Where’s Poochy, where’s Poochy?’
‘Ha. Your Homer impression is way better than my Tricia impression.’
‘Oh, no that was my Tweek impression, dummy. Anyway. It’s been way too long since Christmas. When can I come and see you? Public transport is a thing. It shouldn’t always be you guys coming to me. I mean, I’m still working in the ice cream parlour most days, I’m making hella money because the tips are real good from families. I want to buy a car soon, actually I need to talk to Craig about that.’
‘Ha, well that’s sweet. Literally. I’m not sure of that either, I’m still feeling up to very little.’
‘All good, man.’
‘It’s not that I don’t want to see you. This is the first conversation I’ve had with anyone other than Craig in well over a month. Sorry, Tricia. I promise it isn’t you. And I’d love to see everyone you mentioned too, that’s really sweet that they’ve been asking about me.’
‘No, no, I get it. I mean I don’t, but I know what you mean. You don’t have anything to explain, or to apologise for. Honestly.’
‘Thanks, Tricia. You’re amazing, really.’
‘No, you.’
Tweek grinned despite the sudden wave of exhaustion that hit him. ‘Aw. Hey, it’s been absolutely lovely talking to you but I’m starting to fade. Sometimes it just hits, it’s hard to predict.’
‘Aw, Tweek.’
‘It’s cool, I’ve got this. Can I put you back onto Craig? You can talk about getting a car, that’s really exciting.’
‘Of course. Thanks for talking, Tweek. It’s so glad to hear you’re doing well. Love you, man.’
‘I love you too.’
Craig winked as he took the phone from Tweek. Tweek smiled up at him.
‘Thanks, Craig. Love you.’
‘Gay. Love you too. Ok, I need to talk to a woman about a car.’
‘How very hetero.’
Craig nudged him as he climbed off the bed. ‘Ha! Aye, fuck off man, that’s my sister. And we’re from Colorado, not Alabama.’
‘I dunno, bro. Talk all the shit you want, but I hear Colorado has a real meth problem.’ He poked out his tongue as Craig simultaneously laughed and winced. ‘Anyway, go talk to your sister.’ He gestured at the exercise book with self-help research in it. ‘I’ve got a lot of work to do.’
Craig left him to read through the other notes he had taken alone. Tweek smiled as he saw Craig’s commentary, Craig’s messages to Tweek and to himself and to anyone else who might need them.
- I like to write down everything that is stressing me out right now, and imagine the book is holding all my worries. Then I look at each thing and assess which are actually cause for concern on reflection, and what I can do about those which need to be addressed. Those that are out of my control, I focus on not letting take up rent-free space in my head.
- Always remember that because you are stressed, your brain is perceiving a threat – but the threat is not real, or is not as dangerous as you feel it is.
- Be aware of your thoughts and challenge those that are unhelpful
- Treat your feelings as a guest; they are messengers. Fear and anxiety thrives on avoidance, so face your feelings head on and work through them.

Over the next few days, Tweek read through the books himself and began recording what would be key for him to use.
Thinking: catching and challenging unhelpful thoughts, and reframing them to be helpful
Some helpful mantras for when you find your thinking is negative
- ‘All feelings serve a survival purpose’
- ‘Not all thoughts are true’
- ‘Just because I believe it now does not make it a fact’
- ‘Feeling this emotion does not make my unhelpful thoughts true’
- ‘I do not need to act on my thoughts’
- ‘This is a normal emotion. I am ok. I will allow this emotion to pass.’
- ‘My body is trying to keep me safe.’
- ‘My mind is trying to protect me’
- ‘I am not going crazy’
- ‘This feeling is uncomfortable but not a threat to me’
- ‘I am not trapped or out of control’
- ‘I can cope. I am strong.’
- ‘This is temporary. It will pass.’
- ‘Anxiety distorts my perception and makes it seem like a bigger threat’
- ‘My ability to cope is far stronger than the threat I am perceiving’

New page.
Empowering statements
- ‘I trust in my ability to deal with tricky situations’
- ‘I have been through tough times before and survived every one of my bad days’
- ‘I am strong and capable’
- ‘There are no ‘fails’, only trial runs’
- ‘I can do this, or try my best’
- ‘It is ok to ask for help’
- ‘I will be kind and compassionate towards myself’
- ‘I will forgive myself, stand up for myself, and celebrate myself’
- ‘I will show myself non-judgment and acceptance’

New page.
Things that are not in my control, and I do not focus my mental energy on
- What other people say
- What other people think
- What other people believe
- What other people feel
- What other people do
- The future
- The past
- Past choices I have made
Things that are in my control, and I will focus on
- What I say
- What I believe
- What I do
- What I value
- What I read
- What I wear
- What I eat
- How I exercise
- How I set boundaries
- Who I spend my time with
- My goals
- What I watch and look at online
- The time I spend worrying
- Stating my needs
- Self-care
- Asking for help
- Effort I put in

New page.
- I have everything I need in order to heal
- I am in charge of my future
- I can change my life
- I can be strong
- I can learn from my mistakes
- I can stand up and face my anxiety, which I will do with curiosity and acceptance
- I choose growth over fear
- I embrace change and the future
- I deserve my own forgiveness and my own protection
- I deserve my own acceptance, love, compassion, and care
- I am safe and loved
- I will treat myself with the kindness I treat others with
- My worth does not need to be validated by anyone else
- I deserve to and need to look after myself
- It is ok to want to be alone, to not talk, to set boundaries, and to say no
- I choose to honour my emotions by giving them space
- Self-care is not selfish

New page.
Sunlight meditation
• Sit or lie down somewhere comfortable without distraction
• Start by taking a few deep slow breaths to slow your heart rate. Feel your body expanding and relaxing as you breathe in and out.
• Now you can do this however works for you. Often they say in through the nose and out through the mouth. I don't like doing that; I like nose and nose, and I don't like to hold my breath in between. This is not one size fits all
• A few breaths in, gently close your eyes as you breathe out
• Now you're really getting into it.
• Start to really feel the space around you, the weight of your body pressing against the seat, feeling your hands in your lap, all the surfaces you're in contact with
• Allow thoughts to come and go; let your mind wander and do what it likes. If it wanders to thinking about something instead of being present, gently acknowledge this and bring it back.
• You can imagine your thoughts as leaves floating down a river, or cars passing on the road.
• It's important to remember that some thoughts might be uncomfortable, but that doesn't make it a good thought or a bad thought - all they are is a thought. Remember that not all thoughts are true, and not all thoughts are as important. This is about being calm and kind to yourself. It's like if you try really hard to fall asleep you'll just get stressed and not sleep. Learn to let go of effort.
• You don't want to be fighting really hard to not think, you just want to give your mind the space to be unburdened by thinking
• The goal is to just be totally aware of your space, and be totally present without the usual noise of the mind.
• Other ways are to picture yourself in your favourite place. Mine is my bed next to my boyfriend.
• Acknowledge the sounds in the space; let them come and go.
• Once you're in this space, you want to start imagining your body filling with warm bright sunlight. Imagine it trickling down from the top of your head. Imagine it filling your feet, moving up the legs and through the rest of your body. Imagine it warming you and making you feel more spacious, more warm, more at ease and at balance.
• Do this slowly and gradually over a few quiet, meditative minutes.
• Once you've imagined your whole body being filled with sunlight, sit with the feeling
• When you are ready, bring yourself back into your space and the awareness of your surroundings.
• Sit with the warm, spacious feeling, and bring it with you as you open your eyes.
• Commit to carrying the feeling throughout the day

New page.
Switching off for the night (Another life-changing visualisation meditation)
You can use a similar body scanning technique for a visualisation exercise I learned from Headspace that helps you switch off for sleep.
You get comfortable in your space and take the deep breaths.
With the exhalation, you commit to letting go and breathing out the day that you've had, no matter what kind of day it's been. You recognise that the day is done, and you have nothing else to do.
You then go through every part of the body, imagining it turning off for the night.
You start with your toes, and slowly, part by part, work your way up to your head, and then picture your mind shutting off.
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