Visualization sitting rather than reclining so you don’t fall

Visualization and Guided Imagery for Emotional
Healing
Visualization and guided imagery are also
excellent methods to support emotional healing. This healing might include
stress relief, reprieve from symptoms of depression or anxiety, improvement of
self-esteem and confidence, or grief management. You can visualize scenes and
situations in which you experience the state of mind and feelings you want, and
you can envision scenes in which you release feelings you no longer
want.
For example, when used as a relaxation
technique, you might imagine a scene in which you feel completely calm and
peaceful, free to let go of all tension and anxiety. First select a setting that is calming to
you—like a beautiful beach, a grassy meadow, or a cozy room with a fire. You can
perform this visualization exercise on your own in silence or with a facilitator
or audio recording guiding you through the imagery. You might use a sound
machine or download sounds on your phone or computer that match your chosen
setting—like ocean waves or falling rain.
Find a quiet place to begin your
visualization, and try to perform it while sitting rather than reclining so you
don’t fall asleep. Create the setting you want with music, a guided audio, or
recorded sounds. Then do a short breathing exercise before you begin. Start by
imagining your peaceful place, and mentally picture it as vividly as you can.
Make note of everything you see, hear, smell, and feel. Visualization is most
effective when you incorporate as many sensory details as possible.
If your relaxing place is the beach for
example, you might . . .
See yourself walking through the sand to
the edge of the water.
You feel the warm sand as you walk, and
then the cool water as it laps over your feet.
You smell the salty air and hear the
seagulls cawing and children playing in the distance.
A wave splashes your face, and you get a
taste of the salty water.
You feel a light, cooling breeze, as well
as the sun warming your back.
You notice a feeling of complete peace
and relaxation wash over you.
If you wish to release negative feelings
about yourself, boost self-esteem, or you want to heal from grief or emotional
pain, you might visualize placing all of your sad or negative feelings in a
balloon. Label each feeling and place it gently in the balloon, and then release
the balloon and watch it float gently into the sky and out of sight. Follow this
imagery with a scene of yourself feeling happy, self-assured, free from guilt or
shame, and living the way you wish to live. Again, be as detailed as possible,
using all of your senses.
Whatever you wish to heal or achieve
through this process, use your imagination in advance of your visualization
session to determine the specific scene and the mental process you will follow,
rather than trying to make it up as you go. You can even record a guided
visualization for yourself and listen to it to lead you through the
visualization you create. The sound of your own affirming voice is
powerful.
Visualization is a creative method for
being fully present while defining and picturing the future. It is carefully
crafted, highly focused daydreaming with specific intent. The process can bring
you peace of mind, afford motivation, and create a positive attitude. But be
careful not to become too attached to or dependent upon visualization to “make
things happen.” Try not judge the process, fret about the outcome, or blame
yourself if the visualization doesn’t “work.”
It is much more prudent to view
visualization as a mindfulness exercise rather than a “law of attraction” tool.
There is nothing magical or mysterious about visualization. Like all other
mindfulness practices, it is a way of being present, training your mind, and
rewiring your brain. The changes that occur in your brain can have many
benefits, including supporting your real-world efforts at positive change and
reaching your goals. You will always gain something positive from the practice
of visualization, but there’s no guarantee your visualization will become
reality. As with any other skill, the more you practice it (using plenty of
detail and all of your senses) the more benefits you’ll realize—especially the
joy of exploring your limitless capacity for creative imagination.