Free guided imagery information, exercises, tips and
are readily available here and in many other locations online.
Guided imagery is basically a form of mental escapism, somewhat like daydreaming, but controlled and directed in ways that leave you feeling refreshed and upbeat afterwards.
Think of it as a mini-vacation in your head. By deliberately projecting images of a place where you feel peaceful and safe, you can teach your mind and body to relax and put yourself into a calmer state. This is a great method to combat stress and anxiety.
is used by people in all walks of life, for all kinds of situations including:
Stress management - you can decompress virtually with a short visualization session any time, anywhere, and return to reality refreshed and calm
Weight loss - many find that guided imagery works to curb the need to eat to handle stress, by providing a safe, healthy alternative
Stopping smoking - guided imagery can also work similarly to
to curb cravings and successfully end addiction to nicotine
Pain management - despite the Western world's attitude towards many forms of alternative healing or medicine, even doctors in major hospitals have come to acknowledge that meditation, guided imagery and related techniques can help control pain and speed healing.
The images used in each type of therapy differ - in some cases relaxation is the main goal; in others a feeling of safety is needed. Still other scenarios require a
of strength and the ability to control your own destiny and actions. The sessions can be as short as five or ten minutes, or last up to an hour or more. Settings may include a quiet moment in your office, a corner of your home, or a therapist's office.
Tips for successful guided imaging:
Start small. Short sessions are best. Work your way up slowly to longer sessions, and begin to schedule time for them when you know there is a stressful event ahead.
Consider using props to help you get into 'safe mode' more quickly, these can include tape recordings of your own vioce, soft music, nature sounds, or even scented candles or incense. The more senses you can engage, the more real your images will become.
Create a 'favorite' escape - this can be your number one go-to place when you hit def-con four and really need to decompress fast. If you have a kind of 'default setting' and can get yourself there in an hurry, you can weather almost any sort of crisis after just a few minutes in your 'happy place'.
A free guided imagery script can be found on this site, as well as several exercises which can be built out into alternate scripts. You can also use CDs, and other forms of imagery aids to help you find the method that works best for you.