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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dismiss any stressful thoughts by taking a deep breath and returning your attention to your peaceful scene.
- 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.
- 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.