Guided Imagery Meditation
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Guided Imagery Meditation
For guided imagery to work properly, you must first bring yourself to a relaxed state.
This can be achieved by sitting motionless and concentrating only on your breathing. Deep breaths from the diaphragm at a measured pace can bring you into a peaceful zone, allowing you to move on to guided imagery.
Audio cues such as music or nature sounds, or olfactory experiences such as scented candles or incense can help the relaxation process and set the stage for the imaging portion of your session.
Basic relaxation imagery has to do with your 'happy place' - a place such as you might daydream about, a kind of mental oasis. Pleasant feelings and emotions of peacefulness and quiet joy are associated with this sort of imagery, and can relax and revitalize you. They can include happy memories, or fantasies that you find enjoyable.
Some people use guided imagery in conjunction with meditation as a healing tool.
This has been shown to be helpful with post-op patients who have undergone major surgeries, or who have suffered a major loss or shock. Positive imagery is visualized flowing through the body along with measured breathing. This is also useful as a form of pain control, especially as tense muscles often contribute to pain. Visualizing relaxation while meditating can bring relief.
Imagery can be used in almost any situation to put you in a meditative, restorative state of mind, particularly if you have been practicing for a while.
You come to associate your 'happy place' with feelings of calm and peace, and can simply shut your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and transport yourself to a state of virtual Zen.
This method can work when you are faced with anxiety over a public speaking event, impending relatives, a big life moment such as a wedding or birth, or even to restore calm after an unsettling event such as a nightmare or a verbal fight.
Simply imagine that whatever is troubling you is over and done with, and that it turned out better than you could have imagined. The key is finding a quiet spot to do this, even if only for a few moments. An empty room, a bathroom stall or even a car can be a great place to meditate.
Many doctors and therapists now recommend guided imagery.
Guided Imagery Script
The following is one of the guided imagery scripts you can use; it should simply be read slowly into a tape recorder, with long pauses at the end of each paragraph. You can then play the script back for a short visualization session whenever you have a few moments of free time and a quiet place to be alone.
It's time to relax. Time to let all the worry of the day drift away. You are seated comfortably, and are about to consciously relax all of your muscles, one by one. Start with your hands. Let your fingers go limp… now your palms… now your wrists. Your forearms are completely relaxed now, and your elbows… your shoulders… and your back.
Relax the muscles in your face. Your eyelids droop shut… the tension goes out of your neck. Your hips are loose and your thighs… your knees… your calves. Now your feet are going limp, every toe is relaxing. You are completely relaxed from head to toe. Breathe slowly and deeply from your diaphragm ten times, counting five on each inhale, and five on each exhale.
In your mind, open your eyes. Ahead of you, there is a door, centered in the wall about ten steps away from you. You are going to walk towards that door, and with each step the worries and anxieties you are dealing with in your life will drift further and further away until all you see is the door.
Are you ready?
Take one slow step towards the door. One. Take another step. Two. Another. Three. As you near the door, it begins to glow softly. Four. It is a warm, welcoming light, like soft sunshine. Five. The door is beginning to swing open. Six. Through the door is light. Seven. Through the door is warmth. Eight. Through the door is safety. Nine. You are about to step through the door. Ten.
You are standing, looking through the door at a beautiful beach. Step through the door, and shut it behind you. The sun is warm… the sand is soft… you can hear waves breaking on the shore. Walk slowly down the beach, enjoying the gentle breeze and thinking about how lovely it is to be so relaxed and carefree…
(Leave some space on the tape blank, or fill in with a recording of nature sounds such as waves and seagulls. This can last as long as you wish a session to be.)
It's been a lovely walk on the beach, and now you see a door about ten steps away, coming into shape.
Are you ready?
Ten. When you walk through the door, you will be energized.
Nine. When you walk through the door, you will be well rested.
Eight. When you walk through the door, you will feel ready for the day.
Seven. On the other side of that door is the world you left.
Six. However, it has subtly changed in your absence.
Five. It is a softer, calmer version of the world.
Four. There is nothing in that world you cannot handle.
Three. You will have a wonderful day.
Two. Are you ready? One… step through the door and open your eyes.Welcome back!
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Thank you for listening.