Don’t let your mind-body connection lie dormant, but tap into its healing powers! Guided imagery calls upon your mental faculties (visualization and imagination) and your physical senses (taste, sound, smell, touch, sight) to activate relaxation and healing, and to promote stress-free, successful living. Studies have shown its impact on lowering cholesterol, blood sugar, and high blood pressure…alleviating pain and headaches…mitigating stress and anxiety…stimulating creativity and learning…and promoting weight loss and healing. If you’ve stumbled on previous meditation endeavors, try five minutes of guided imagery, which tends to be easier than traditional meditation techniques that strive for an “empty” mind.
How Guided Imagery Works
For a quick demonstration of guided imagery, imagine you’re eating a grapefruit or sucking on a lemon drop. Don’t just visualize a mental picture, but feel the texture of the grapefruit as it slides around in your mouth and down your throat. What does it smell like? What does it taste like? Grab hold of these senses and you should start to salivate!
You can use guided imagery to promote relaxation by envisioning a peaceful place. Everyone’s sanctuary is different, so get in touch with what soothes you best—is it a garden meadow, a beach, or a mountaintop? Relaxing with guided imagery helps to accelerate healing, learning, and creativity…and to still turbulent emotions or nervousness.
You can use guided imagery to enhance your goals, whether it’s to lose weight or to quit smoking. As a right-brained activity, guided imagery accesses your emotions, laughter, musical sensitivities, abstract thinking, intuition, and empathy, and unlocks subconscious desires that bring your goals front and center, giving you the propulsion needed to succeed.
You can use guided imagery to activate the healing processes in your body. Visualize your immune cells wiping out cancerous cells in your body…or imagine that the inflammation that’s causing your chronic pain is dissolving.
How to Practice Guided Imagery
Find a quiet, comfy spot free from distraction where you can take five minutes to unplug.
Set an intention for your guided imagery session. If it’s to heal, then focus on the specific area that needs the TLC. Imagery is specific and unique, so be creative with the images that work for you. Whether you’re bathing you body in healing golden light, or envisioning immune system soldiers attacking toxins and foreign particles, take your time and really color in the visuals with details. Involve your senses and try to feel physically what you are imagining mentally.
It is natural for distracting thoughts to butt in. Acknowledge them, and let them pass. Do not dwell or try to analyze the thought; instead, pull yourself back to the imagery.
Using music—also a personal preference—can help you stay focused and can enhance the imagery.
Don’t bounce back to life too quickly after your guided imagery session. Allow your mind and body to stay connected and ease back into the grind.