Guided Imagery – The Healing Power of Your Imagination
Worrying is a natural reaction to some of the situations that face us in our daily lives. There are times when worrying is actually a good thing, helping us to focus on, revisit and solve problems. Habitual worrying, however, can lead to chronic stress, the development of stress related illnesses and to the worsening of ailments that we are already struggling with.
Guided Imagery provides a way of relieving stress and reducing pain while helping us relax and to develop coping strategies. Guided Imagery seeks to help the mind concentrate on positive images and thoughts that create a sense of calm, peacefulness and security. The practice of Guided Imagery is safe, having no known risks or adverse side effects.
What Is Guided Imagery?
Guided Imagery is a stress management technique that uses directed thoughts and suggestions to guide your imagination. The method incorporates the use of all of your senses, and is based on the concept that your body and mind are strongly connected.
As you imagine and focus on a picture, place, time, or person that makes you feel relaxed and happy, your body begins to react. Your heart rate and breathing slow down and you are left feeling calmer, more in control of the situation and better able to handle it. Guided Imagery may be conducted as self-therapy, using tapes or scripts, or with the guidance of an instructor who has been trained in the technique.
Using Guided Imagery, you can construct a mental picture of your stress flowing out of your body. You may also be able to imagine yourself neatly folding up your problems, distractions, and everyday concerns then stashing them away in a padlocked chest.
What Can Guided Imagery Be Used For?
Guided imagery is useful in:
- promoting relaxation and reducing problems related to stress, such as high blood pressure
- helping to reach goals such as losing weight or quitting smoking
- managing pain
- promoting healing by stimulating the immune system
- preparing for an athletic event or a public performance, such as public speaking
- aiding learning and creativity by allowing you to reach new solutions to difficult problems
- feeling more in control of emotions and thought processes, leading to improved attitude, health, and sense of well-being
- cultivating desirable traits such as courage, tolerance, patience and self-confidence
Guided Imagery is a gentle but powerful technique with many applications. It is inexpensive and carries a host of benefits for those who opt to use it as a form as alternative medicine.