Relaxation Techniques – Guided Imagery
This week is mental health awareness week in the UK, so we thought it was perfect timing to release the fourth part of our blog series on relaxation techniques. This week, we’re going to look at Guided Imagery (sometimes called visualisation) which is the practice of immersing yourself in a mental image of a relaxing/peaceful setting.
Think about some of your favourite vs least favourite places. If you think about them hard enough you might notice some feelings associated with them. This shows just how powerful our brains are. They hold the ability to create emotional reactions purely from a thought. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on what thoughts you are having!
So, let’s get started…
- Find a quiet, comfortable spot.
- Close your eyes and take a few minutes to focus on your breathing.
- Imagine a peaceful place that’s calming for you. Maybe a rainy, green forest, a sunny, tropical beach, a majestic mountain range…anywhere in nature usually works best but it might just be at home with your dog!
- Don’t just think about it, paint the picture, imagine every little detail using all your five senses.
Here’s an example of one of my own spots:
Sight: The sun is streaming through the tall pine trees. There’s no one else around. A stream is in front of you, the water is clear, and a family of sparrows are having a morning wash. Leaves surround you on the floor and the trees are dripping water every now and again from the earlier rainfall.
Sound: You can hear the trickling of the passing stream, and the little splashes of the Sparrows having a wash. If you focus a little more, you can hear the raindrops pat the leafy floor as they roll off the trees. There are bird songs somewhere in the background.
Touch: The sun streaming through the trees is warm on your face, the leafy floor is like a plush cushion and as you dip your toes in the stream the water is cold.
Taste: You have a glass of warm, peppermint tea, minty and refreshing.
Smell: You can smell the earthy scent after the rainfall, the piney scent of the trees around you and the aroma of your peppermint tea every now and again.
- When you’re ready, you might like to envision a path in your scene. Picture yourself walking along it, imagining all the other details your senses might pick up on the way.
- Allow yourself to relax in your scene, continuing to take slow deep breaths.
- When you’re ready to come back to reality, count to three and open your eyes.
If you are a beginner, you might like to start by listening to some guided imagery tutorials. Here’s one to get you started.
Or another for our sailing community who love a beach scene:
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