Stress is inevitable, but not a monster you can’t beat.
There are many available stress-relief techniques, but there is one you probably haven’t tried yet.
Sometimes referred to as guided imagery, visualization is a stress-reduction method that involves the systematic practice of painting a detailed mental image of a peaceful environment or setting.
Visualization can be practiced as a stand-alone stress reduction method, but it is often partnered with physical relaxation techniques to further associate relaxed sensations with the peaceful visual picture.
This stress relief method involves distracting your attention away from stressors and refocusing them on something else. Visualization works through associating the cues and instructions to recall sensations and memories of the peaceful and relaxed environment.
The great thing about visualization is that you can take it anywhere with you. It relies on nothing more but the imagination and your ability to concentrate. However, this method is more effective if performed in a quiet, uninterrupted setting free from distracting stimuli.
While there is no single correct way to perform visualization for stress relief, there are some recommended steps you can take such as these:
- Find a calm space free from potential distractions and make yourself comfortable.
- Inhale slowly and deeply to focus attention on your breathing and induce calmness.
- Close your eyes.
- Picture yourself in a beautiful location, maybe a dream vacation spot such as a beach, a mountain peak, a forest, or just being in your dream room with the setting sun streaking through your windows while you listen to your favorite playlist.
- Imagine yourself becoming relaxed, smiling, and having a great time.
- Focus on the different sensations you may have as if the scene were real. The rough sand on your feet, the warm sun on your skin, the soft wind in your face, the sound of the waves, or the smell of the earth after a light drizzle. Involving your senses helps bring the imagery to life.
- Remain in your scene and explore the many sensory experiences for 5-10 minutes or until you feel yourself relaxing.
- While in this state, assure yourself that this is a place you can always come back to when you need to relieve stress and relax.
- Open your eyes.
Find more tips and techniques for visualization as a method for stress relief in this article by Mental Help.
Have you tried this stress-reduction method? Share to us your experience in the comments below!