What Is Guided Imagery & How To Relax Yourself Using It?

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Guided imagery technique

What Is Guided Imagery & How To Relax Yourself Using It?

I was so stressed this morning due to my relationship problems with my partner and just wanted to run away from everyone. Alas! Due to COVID situation, I couldn’t even think of stepping outside my house, forgetting about hiking in the mountains, or relaxing at the beach. It was guided imagery and the associated techniques which actually helped me to become calm and peaceful.

I am sure you are wondering what guided imagery is and how it helped me. To begin with, it’s a stress management technique that calms your body as well as mind simultaneously. Interestingly, this technique is very pleasant to practice and simple to learn and understand.

The Concept Behind Guided Imagery

Concept Behind Guided Imagery

A. Because our body and mind are connected, guided imagery makes you feel connected and experienced to the place just by imagining it.

B. This technique could be practiced with the help of audio recordings, a guide/instructor, or a script explaining the process.

C. Guided imagery allows you to experience all the senses related to the location. For example, if you want to be in the mountains, imagine the cold breeze, lush greenery, conical homes, and dense clouds. Imagining yourself here in a calm and peaceful setting helps in relieving stress.

If the concept of guided imagery is what you can use in your life, I will explain to you this beautiful relaxation technique, benefits, and other relevant facts.

Whenever you are stressed in your life, the body and mind become tense. It can also increase heart rate, blood pressure and leave you unfocused. Guided imagery allows you to lose the tightness in muscles and one becomes calm. It may not be able to resolve your problems instantly but it provides coping mechanisms for your emotional and mental health.

How To Practice Guided Imagery Technique?

One can follow the steps mentioned here to practice guided imagery technique:

Step 1: Find a place to sit down comfortably or lie down. Now close your eyes.

Step 2: Take a few deep breaths to relax yourself.

Step 3: Imagine a very peaceful and calm setting. For example, mountains, beaches, meadows, etc.

Step 4: Follow what you want to follow. Walk on the beach, feel the breeze, get sun-kissed or lie beneath the tropical trees. How do you feel with that sky, freshly cut fruits or the touch of sand beneath your skin?

Step 5: Keep breathing slowly and maintain peace inside yourself.

Step 6: Denote a term or sound which can help you connect with the same or similar scene later when you are stressed.

Step 7: Before opening your eyes, rub your palms together, count to three, and put it on your eyes before opening them.

What Are The Issues Treated Using Guided Imagery Methods?

Guided imagery technique is also used by a number of therapists for stress management to instill a sense of relaxation. It is also used to treat a number of concerns including:

This method is also commonly used by medical professionals in pain management, high blood pressure, and enhancing performance.

Benefits Of Guided Imagery Relaxation Technique

Guided imagery is capable of affecting your health positively in different ways like:

1. Improving Sleep: Any kind of stress and anxiety within doesn’t let a person sleep well. Various studies have proven that this type of meditation has the ability to improve sleep quality and how the body responds to stress.

guided imagery helps Improving Sleep

2. Reducing Anxiety: It has been proven scientifically that guided imagery reduces the feeling of anxiety, stress, fatigue, pain, and depression. Various studies have shown that guided imagery has helped decrease pre-surgery anxiety and in many cases, it has given equal positive effects to a 15-minutes massage.

3. Cuts Down Depression Symptoms: Depression is usually associated with negative mental images and it is a guided imagery technique that helps in reducing depression symptoms.

4. Decreases Pain: Studies have shown that guided imagery decreases post-surgery pain in children, eases pain in patients with cancer, orthopedic surgery, or more. The overall idea is controlling the perception of pain.

Limitations Of Imagery Guided Therapy

Studies have suggested that this method of relaxation may leave a person leading to false memories. However, false memories could also come up due to group pressure, personality factors, and other personal experiences. It may even act like self-hypnosis and some people require the help of a professional expert for guidance.

Additional Tips For Beginners To Practice Guided Imagery Technique

  • You can listen to an audio recording with closed eyes while performing meditation.
  • Choose a quiet area where nobody can disturb you or distract your attention.
  • Wear comfortable and loose clothing
  • Switch your phone on ‘do not disturb” mode or turn it off completely.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself thinking how well you are doing. Let the process happen by itself and embrace it all.
  • You may not be able to pace up very quickly but start with 5 minutes a day.

Wrap-Up

I hope that guided imagery can help you in relaxing and attaining a peaceful state of mind once again. I highly recommend all our readers to try guided imagery techniques for sure and share the experience with us in the comment section below.

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