Give Yourself a “Getaway” with Guided Visualization

greatideaGet away from it all for a few reviving minutes with this visualization to “take yourself away” from stress by picturing yourself in a relaxing, calm situation.

Neuroscience research shows that when we vividly imagine something, the same parts of the brain activate as if we were really having that experience in reality.

  1. Choose a scene that you find peaceful, calm, and restful. If you can’t think of one, consider one of these options: sitting beside a river or waterfall, laying on the beach, walking in the woods, hiking on a mountain path, sailing on calm water, or sitting on a park bench.
  2. Close your eyes and imagine as many details as possible, using all your senses:
    • What does the scene look like? What colors do you see? What shapes or images?
    • What sounds are in your peaceful scene? Listen. Do you hear people? Breeze? Water? Animals?
    • What could you feel with your sense of touch? Textures? Cool or warm? Can you feel a breeze?
    • What scents are there? Flowers? Ocean? Food?
    • See yourself peaceful and doing whatever feels most calm and relaxing in your special place.
  3. Dismiss any stressful thoughts by taking a deep breath and returning your attention to your peaceful scene.
  4. Keep adding more and more detail to your restful scene. This is a mind-body technique. As the mind pictures lots of detail, the body can start feeling as it would if it were really experiencing the scene.
  5. Allow yourself at least 5 minutes of relaxing “getaway.” Then promise yourself another getaway again soon.

You can find my most effective 20 minute guided visualization on my
Less Stress Now CD.