Want to reduce stress and promote relaxation?
Try this simple guided imagery meditation.
Here’s a great piece from Jayneanne walking you through one.
Guided Imagery for Relaxation
Guided Imagery, or visualization, is a relaxation and stress reduction technique which has been gaining a great deal of popularity recently, even though its concepts have been used for centuries. It is not hard to learn and can be performed by anyone with just a little training.
Guided Imagery Techniques
The basic concept behind guided imagery and visualization is that there is a strong link between your mental processes and your physical being. Allowing your mind to fully relax can also produce a positive reaction in your body. These physical benefits can include a reduction blood pressure, lower cortisol levels and a slower heartbeat. One simple Guided Imagery technique is as follows:
- Sit comfortably in a quiet environment where you won’t be disturbed.
- With your eyes closed, take several deep, cleansing breaths.
- Form a mental picture in your mind of a scene which you find relaxing, perhaps a tropical beach, a forest or riverbank. It doesn’t particularly matter what you choose, so long as it is somewhere you feel safe and completely at ease.
- Keep adding details to your basic mental picture in order to make it as complete as possible. It’s important to try to involve all of your senses, for example if you were picturing lying in a forest, concentrate on the smell of the leaves, the feel of the soft earth beneath you and the sounds of the birds in the trees. The more involving your imaginary world becomes, the better the technique will work.
- After a few minutes (or as long as you like), open your eyes and slowly return to the ‘real world’. You should now feel much more relaxed and energized.
Another effective guided imagery technique is to concentrate on your body, rather than a mental picture. First, focus your attention on your toes, tensing and then relaxing them, then move on to your feet, legs and so on; imagining your whole body relaxing as you go.
The beauty of guided imagery is in its simplicity. You don’t need a therapist to help you, and it can be performed almost anywhere and at any time. However, if you find it difficult to obtain the necessary state of mind for the visualization process, there are many audio CDs on the market which you may find useful. They combine relaxing music and vocal instructions to guide you on your journey.
When you feel under stress it can be hard to take time out to try and deal with it. Using guided imagery as a relaxation technique allows you to quickly and easily take a step back from your problems and approach them again with a clear mind.