Guided Imagery Exercises

Use the following guided imagery exercises to be in a peaceful and safe place

Guided imagery exercises can provide a kind of template for you to plug into when you are feeling down, depressed or exhausted. Relaxing and

meditating with guided imagery can revitalize you and give you a renewed feeling of energy and hope, by directing your thoughts to the positive and distracting you from the things that are making you worried or anxious.

Imagery (or visualization, as many call it) is often used as a stress management technique . The following exercises deal with visualizations that you can adapt to fit your own ideals, and the final exercise is a template for dealing with specific anxieties or stressors in your life.

The Beach

guided imagery exercises on the beach

Ever heard the country song 'Some Beach, Somewhere?' It's about a guy who's having a real bummer of a day. Somebody cuts him off on the expressway, another takes the parking spot he was angling for, and to top it off, he has a certain to be unpleasant dentist appointment. How does he deal? He shuts his eyes for a minute, and imagines he's on some beach… somewhere… and suddenly the world seems better.

Everyone can imagine a quiet beach with the waves rocking gently in over the sand, maybe a seagull calling overhead. The sound of the water, the warmth of the sun and the feel of sand between your toes can wash worries away in a flash - even without an ice cold Corona and lime. Lay back in an easy chair, close your eyes and daydream freely… and if you have a CD of waves breaking on the shore to add ambiance, all the better.

The Forest

guided imagery exercises : the forest

The wind blows gently through the pines, and there are gentle nature sounds. Crickets chirp, the grass is soft underneath you, and you lie on your back next to a beautiful lake looking at the bits of sky through the treetops or the mountains. Maybe a few woodland animals wander past you and you get to revel in the wonders of nature.

It's calm and peaceful, and you can recite your mantra - "I am safe, I am relaxed, I am happy". Concentrate on your breathing, in and out slowly; there's no rush, just enjoy the moment. If you have a pine scented candle, light it to add a special touch to the experience.

Both getaways can be added to by your own imagination, and the sky is the limit when it comes to how far you want to take your fantasy land. When it's time to come back to reality, simply visualize getting on a plane or boat, traveling home, and disembarking relaxed and ready to take on whatever comes next. Your mini-escape can set the tone for your whole day!

Specific Imagery

Imagine a situation that represents stress to you - an argument with a co-worker, or public speaking event. Remember, you are relaxed, and in a safe place. Visualize yourself handling the situation with grace and calm, then simply walking away, getting on a boat or plane, and departing for your happy place. Once there, you can continue your visualization. This is a great way to use guided imagery exercises to directly combat anxiety about specific situations.

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