Have you seen anyone watching a dramatic scene on TV. Observe his/her face. Most of the times, it will reflect the emotions that the actors are portraying on the screen. That is the power of imagery. It can affect not only the face but also most physiological parameters of the body. For example, during a suspense scene, your pulse rate and respiration rate goes up even though you may know that it is all acting and camera tricks.
This same phenomenon can be used to relax your mind and body. With a little bit of imagination you can replace distressing thoughts with calm and relaxing thoughts.
- Settle down in a chair or lie down in a quiet place where you wont be disturbed for a few minutes.
- Close your eyes and start thinking of an image – a place, a scenery, a pleasant memory – that is relaxing.
- Try to feel the image with all your senses. For example, try to think of your last visit to a hill station. Can you see the clouds nesting on the mountain slopes, can you see the tall conifers, can you smell the fragrance of pine in the atmosphere, can you feel the cool breeze, the mist and the pleasant chill, can you hear the birds chirping…
- Allow the image to take over your thoughts and relax as long as possible
This method of relaxation is called Guided Imagery. It is a mind-body intervention aimed at easing stress, and promoting a sense of peace and tranquility at a stressful or difficult time in someone’s life. It is a process of incorporating the “power of the mind” to assist the body to heal, maintain health or relax by way of an inner communication involving all senses, (i.e. visual, touch, smell, sight, sound). It forms a balance between the mind, body and spirit.