The Power of Guided ImageryJune 3, 2016
In recent health and wellness news, much attention has been given to the vast array of benefits provided by meditation. Often people dismiss a meditation practice thinking that they can't sit still or quiet their mind long enough to reap the benefits. However, you may be surprised to learn that guided imagery, also referred to as guided visualization, is a form of meditation that you probably engage in without even realizing it.
Anytime you step back from the realities that surround you to imagine yourself in a moment of rest and relaxation or a moment of success and triumph; you are participating in guided imagery, and you probably didn't even realize it! Now take a moment and think of the powerful feelings that you can access within yourself if you actively engage in a guided imagery with a focused intention. The results can be astonishing.
In addition to numerous health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, guided imagery has been shown to help relieve pain, fight side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as lessen anxiety. Even if that weren't enough to convince you to give it a go, there is also the very real benefit that guided imagery has been shown to help you improve your performance and achieve success in your endeavors. Many times elite athletes will use guided imagery to visualize what they need to do to win, and this same technique can help you—whether you're going to a meeting, taking a test or playing a game with friends.
How Guided Imagery Works
Guided imagery strengthens the mind-body connection. Guided imagery is the practice of creating mental images that trigger a physical response in your body. By envisioning a moment of triumph, your body will react as if the moment is real and your brain will release the same hormones and chemicals as if you were and you will feel a sense of wellbeing.
By engaging in guided imagery, you will enter a hypnotic, trance-like state. In this state, you can achieve heightened sensitivity and increased focus on very specific events or emotions. The intense focus and sensitivity allow you to achieve higher levels of healing and learning that remains long after the hypnotic state.
The third way that guided imagery works is by giving the self the power and control in situations. During all guided imagery sessions, you are in control. Unlike real-time conditions, you are entirely in control and that allows you to explore the best ways to achieve success in a safe setting. These lessons that you learn and the emotions felt during a session will remain with you as you exit the imagery and return to daily life.
One of the beautiful aspects of guided imagery is that you can do it anytime and any place for any length of time. To achieve the full benefit from the practice, you should dedicate time and make a commitment to its practice. But nothing is stopping you from taking a moment for guided imagery before you step into a job interview, meeting or sports tournament. You may just find the keys to success deep within yourself.