Here’s How Perfect the Art of Doing Guided Imagery for Relaxation
Guided imagery is one of the best stress management techniques to boost your brain cells. It also allows you to substitute negative emotions with positivity. It is a process where you can use your imagination to visualize a specific place, person, experience. You can also visualize an event that makes you feel happy, relaxed, and at peace.
It may ignite your senses and can deliver profound results. For example, you may visualize yourself walking through a lush, shaded forest, the dappled sunlight making criss-cross patterns on the ground.
To your right, you may hear the sound of a babbling brook making its way over rounded rocks and join an inviting lagoon. The sound of the voice is soothing to your senses. It will help you lose yourself in a world that promises a break from your anxiety-ridden regular life. And thus, it helps you enter a beautiful world full of peace, calm, and beauty.
Guided imagery is customized to your specific needs so that it may be individualistic in some cases and group-specific in others. Also, it is a process that takes time to master. So, it may be difficult to start initially, especially when your mind refuses to follow specific instructions and tends to wander.
However, with time the gentle, yet persuasive voice coerces your mind to unknown territories, offering solace along the way. If you are new to guided imagery, here are some tips to make things easier for you.
Choose the Right Method
One of the first things to find out is what works for you, or the type of guided imagery that suits your specific mood. One method to try is to self-guide your way with imagination. This approach is difficult yet rewarding. It may involve you concocting the story as you go.
Another method involves reading something that someone else has written. This is a better option for a beginner and helps you move ahead at your own pace. However, it may not always be the best option for everyone as it may impact the efficacy of guided imagery.
A third option is listening to a guided imagery session, story, or soundtrack. This helps you to follow the story and may even transport you to dreamland and soon you may snooze away to glory.
Move into the Comfortable Zone
It is always great to make the surroundings relaxing. If you are in the right position, you may not have to stop the session and break the spell to move your position.
If it has to be the meditative pose for you, you can try just that. However, if you find your bed more relaxing, you can try that too.
Incorporate Belly Breathing
Breathing forms a crux of guided imagery. The most effective breathing practice is using diaphragmatic breathing.
This helps you to breathe in and expand your belly and breathe out and contract your belly. Keep your shoulders in a neutral position, this will ensure you have no tension while you are doing the breathing practice.
Focus on the Sensory Details
Guided imagery is not just a story. You are not just listening, in fact, you are responding to the story. This enables you to focus on minute sensory details.
You feel you are not just swimming in the lake. But you are also dipping your toes into the cool water on a sultry hot day.
You feel the experience of feeling the cool water enveloping your body and you feel a sense of deep calm. You may sip on a cool drink that captivates your tongue and your senses. Those tiny details of the story engage and invigorate you and help you get greater benefits.
Keep the Story Open Ended
If you are using guided imagery from a script or audioscape, you do not think about how the story goes. Everything is there for you to experience. However, when there is a self-guided session where you constantly have to scene and control the experience, you may keep the story open-ended.
With no specific goal in mind, you are may coerce your mind as it instructs you. This may help exit the scene when you snap out of the meditative mode and drop into a more conscious state of mind.
Have you ever tried guided imagery? If not, you must certainly try. There are many apps such as Calm, which can offer you mini-vacations from a hectic, stressed-out world. Try it, you will relax and feel stress-free in no time.
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