Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a simple relaxation technique that can help you manage stress and reduce tension in your body.

Guided Imagery is virtually as easy as indulging in a vivid daydream and, with practice, it can help you ease any tension and stress that you feel. When used as a relaxation technique, guided imagery involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety. Choose whatever setting is most calming to you, whether it be a tropical beach, a favourite childhood spot, a therapist’s chair, or a quiet place in the woods.

Here’s how to get started with guided imagery:

  1. Get into a comfortable position. If lying down will likely put you to sleep, try sitting cross-legged, or reclining in a comfy chair. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, focusing on breathing in feelings of peace and breathing out feelings of stress.
  2. Once you get into a relaxed state, begin to envision yourself in the midst of the most relaxing environment you can imagine. This might be floating in the cool, clear waters on a tropical beach and listening to smooth music playing in the background. Or it might be sitting by a fire in a secluded snowbound cabin deep in the woods, sipping hot chocolate and reading a good novel while wrapped in a plush blanket and fuzzy slippers. Use whatever personal scene is most calming for you.
  3. As you imagine your scene, try to involve all of your senses. What does it look like? What does it feel like on your skin? What special scents are involved? What is around you? Who is there or not there with you? What sounds do you hear? Do you feel any other sensations?
  4. Stay here for as long as you like. Enjoy your surroundings and let yourself be far from what stresses you.

When you’re ready to come back to reality, count back from 10 or 20 and tell yourself that when you get to number one, you’ll feel more calm and refreshed, like returning from a vacation. But you won’t even have left the room!