Day 7 – Visualization

The next technique is called Visualization (a.k.a. Guided Imagery). It is a process of relaxation in which you use your imagination to picture yourself in a peaceful place. Use as many senses as you can to create an accurate picture of wherever you “are.”

This technique is nothing new… in fact, athletes sometimes use it to picture themselves before a big game. When I ran cross country in high school we did it as well and would spend time before races mentally preparing ourselves by imagining exactly what race day would look, feel, smell and be like on as many levels as possible (and of course winning the race)!

The way to make visualization most effective is by being as relaxed as possible prior to doing the technique. Using some of the previous breathing exercises may be helpful first to relax your entire body before attempting to incorporate your imagination into it.

My favorite way to do this is to envision the beach. For me, that is a safe place. I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA and so I associate the beach with safety, warmth, community and home. Other people may feel that the mountains are the safest, most peaceful place or the forest.

While picturing yourself at your location of choice you’ll want to pay attention to everything around you. Take the beach for example:

* What does it look like? Can you see long stretches of sand? What about the ocean? What else do you see around you? What does the sky look like? Are there any clouds? etc.

* What does it smell like? Are there any concession stands nearby? Can you smell hot dogs or other refreshments? Are there any bonfires going? What about the sand and the salt water? etc.

* What does it feel like? Can you feel the warmth of the sun beating down on you? Is there a breeze? etc.

* What do you hear? Are there any kids playing nearby? Can you hear the crashing of the waves on the shore? etc.

You get the point! Visualization can be hard at first especially for people like me whose mind is constantly moving! But when I find myself actually getting to that place of really feeling like I am at my safe place it can be an incredibly peaceful experience!

* Please note: When you finish an exercise like this you may feel a bit drowsy at first, especially if you get to a deep state of relaxation. Don’t just jump up and go for a drive or something after!! You need to ease back into “real life”. As you pull yourself out of the safe place, take some deep breaths and count down from 10. Get up slowly, drink some water and walk around a little to pull yourself out of it.

See you tomorrow!!

Comments

  1. Erin MacPherson says:

    Awesome. I'm totally going to do this…but later! I have to hop in the car to take my kids to school and I do NOT want to be drowsy! :)

  2. Stacy Conner says:

    This is a great blog Angela! I'll have to use some of these techniques once I finish moving, although, the counting backwards by 3 might happen before then.
    Thank you for checking out my blog and for your kind words! Hope you are doing well. :)

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