Guided Visualisation for Better Health
Guided visualisation is a relaxation technique that involves using all of your senses. You must use your sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste to build a peaceful image in your head. However, it would be unrealistic to think we could fully experience these senses during our guided visualisation. We are simply using guided visualisation to visualise them. Moreover, this healing technique has been used for many years. In fact, it is known to have been used by Ancient Greeks. The method can also be so beneficial that it is common practice in hospitals in addition to medical treatment.
Why Practise Guided Visualisation?
- There is a wide range of benefits that have a positive impact on our health. For example, lowering blood pressure, stabilising heart rate and relieving pain. In fact, it can reduce the amount of medication they need to ease pain for some people.
- The technique is known to improve wellbeing and reduce feelings such as stress and anxiety straight away.
- Positive visualisation is easy to practise and can be used at any time.
- The process is completely individual as you focus on what makes you happy personally.
Can I teach Myself Positive Visualisation?
Guided visualisation can be learnt and practised alone and focuses on bringing your mind to a place where you feel happy. Sometimes, the help of a professional can be useful to teach you how to do the technique correctly. It is perfect for when you become stressed or anxious, you can use your new skills to calm you down. Practising positive visualisation is a must as it teaches you how to do the technique correctly. Practise makes perfect, so the more times you practise guided visualisation, the better you will become.
How to Prepare For Guided Visualisation
You can follow videos online, which will guide you through your guided visualisation, making it easier to begin. Alternatively, why not listen to some calm music to help with relaxation? On the other hand, some believe that positive visualisation works best in silence. Therefore, allowing them to focus on what they are doing entirely.
How to Practise Guided Visualisation
Many people choose to focus on a positive memory they have. Focusing on your senses one by one, remembering what you seen, smelt, felt, heard and tasted at the time. However, you can also create a memory that you have not experienced. Focus on somewhere you would love to be or something that you would love to happen. The process of positive visualisation can turn this creation in your mind into a memory. Let your imagination take over and visualise your dreams to help achieve happiness.
- First, get comfortable. You must be able to focus on the positive visualisation. Therefore, find a quiet space and either lay down or sit in a comfortable position. Also, it would be best if you were not interrupted, as this may result in a loss of focus.
- Secondly, take long, deep breaths. In through your nose, out through your mouth. There is a range of breathing exercises to help with this. An excellent practice is to inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. This is called the 4-7-8 technique. It may help if you put your hand on your stomach. Therefore, you can feel your belly rising and falling as you breathe, which can help with focus.
- Close your eyes to become fully immersed in the guided visualisation and let your thoughts become more clear.
- Visualise yourself somewhere where you felt relaxed. It doesn’t matter where. It can be anywhere, such as a beach, forest, or even a spa.
- Visualise what you felt when you were there or what you would want to feel. For example:
- Were you warm?
- Was it windy?
- Were you holding something?
- Did you feel sand or water below your feet?
- Notice your surroundings, such as the colours that you see.
- What sounds do you hear? Can you hear the sea? Can you hear the rain battering on the roof? What about the birds in the trees? Maybe you hear calm music which is playing in the background.
- What can you smell? Perhaps there is some food cooking nearby? Maybe you can smell the sun cream you just applied while lying at the beach? Or perhaps even the smell of flowers growing in the garden around you?
- Now, consider what you taste. Have you just eaten? Maybe you are sipping a delicious cocktail as you relax and embrace your surroundings?
- Continue practising positive visualisation for as long as you like to ensure that you are calm when returning to your surroundings. However, if you have got things to do, you may consider setting the alarm so that you can fully relax and know you will not spend too long on the technique.
- The whole time you practise guided visualisation, remember to breathe in positive energy, happiness and peace, and breath out any negativity and stress that you feel.
Does Guided Visualisation Create Memories?
In short, yes, guided visualisation can create memories. The reason for this is because we are focusing intensely on an experience. Therefore, we can bring back details that we may have forgotten. Equally, we can create new memories, ones that haven’t even happened.
The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is excellent at reducing stress and anxiety as it helps recreate memories that can be focused on at any time. To practise this technique, you should:
- Identify five things that you can see, and spend some time focusing on each one.
- List four things that you can touch and pay attention to how they feel.
- Listen for three things you can hear
- What two things that you can smell
- Think of one thing that you can taste
Now you have paid attention to each one of your senses. Also, you have spent a reasonable amount of time concentrating on each. As a result, you have been able to make a memory. Moreover, you can now enjoy how it makes you feel. Return to it when needed through a guided visualisation to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Written by Amy Bamford
What is meant by visualisation?
Visualisation is commonly known as the mental image of something we create in our minds.
What are visualisation techniques?
Visualisation techniques are situations and experiences created in our minds, based on our experiences or imagination.
How do you do visualisation?
To practise visualisation, relax and let your mind focus on your senses to ensure you become fully immersed in the technique.
Does visualisation help with anxiety?
Yes, visualisation is known to help with both stress and anxiety and many people who practise the technique notice the benefits immediately.