A woman asks if she should stop trying to visualize and just meditate, since she keeps getting plagued by negative, opposing images whenever she tries to be positive.. Dear BR,
I have been advised that it might be better for me to do only meditation where you don''t try to visualize. I used to enjoy the visualizations, but am now plagued by negative (opposite) images or an inability to see the positive (which, in turn, causes frustation/upset). What would you recommend? Thanks

Dear Sally,
Well, how is it when you try to meditate? And what kind of meditation have you tried? That might be a good tactic.

On the other hand, you may be able to counter your negative images with the positive ones in the guided imagery, too. Either way could work. Imagery might be a little easier, because it’s by nature diversionary and does enough "cognitive recruitment" (occupies your mind sufficiently) to get you away from your negative images.

Another possible tactic is to just do a contrarian approach to these perverse images and embrace them, let them play out, and see where they take you. They may lose interest in making your life miserable if you meet them head-on.

It sounds like you may be having a bit of an obsessive pattern going on, where your mind is stuck on these negative things and keeps going around and around with them. If that’s the case, you may want to try some training with a cognitive behavioral therapist who could teach you some fine mind-tricks to get you out of that loop. And medication can help with this too.