Feeling Overwhelmed? Use a Meditation Card

March 11, 2024

A meditation card is a simple tool to help you practice mindfulness during moments of stress and upheaval.

It’s based on a guided imagery exercise in which you call to mind a relaxing memory that serves as a target emotional state you would like to access.

This could be a memory of taking a peaceful walk with someone you love, a moment of quiet solitude where you felt at ease, or a time spent with friends or family.

Once you have a pleasant memory in mind, take a moment to recall as much sensory information as you can about that experience. Go through each of the five senses. What can you remember seeing? Hearing? Touching? Tasting? And smelling?

As you rehearse the memory, see if you notice any changes in your heart rate, breathing, or posture. Be on the lookout for even the smallest adjustments in the speed of thoughts or emotions you’re experiencing right now.

Now go back to that memory and try to identify three distinct colors you can recall from that moment.

(If you’re blind or color blind or just feel pulled in a different direction simply substitute this step with an alternative set of details. It could be three things you remember tasting, smelling, etc. For this exercise, though, I’ll be using colors.)

For some people it might be a memory of spring or summer with the colors green, gold, and brown standing out. Or a memory of being at the beach at night might bring up the colors of black, violet, and silver.

Take a moment to identify your three.

Write these three colors down on a notepad or send them to yourself as a text message. If you’re feeling extra creative, pull out markers, crayons, or creative software.

Find some way to externalize what you came up with.

This is your meditation card.

To anyone looking in from the outside it means nothing. But to you it’s a concrete reminder of a powerful truth (and a helpful anchoring statement):

That place is a part of you. You carry it with you wherever you go. And you can access it any time you need.


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