Sometimes to reduce the stress you need to give my panicky mind a job rather than force it to stare straight into the present situation. Guided imagery is the practice of imagining a positive environment or activity to engage and calm the mind. It’s a type of visual meditation that redirects the mind from stressful thoughts to soothing ones to induce a state of relaxation. Here is how you can try it:
- Select a scenario that engages all five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and sound.
- Choose something that’s easy to picture. Try a comforting place you’re familiar with, like your bedroom or favourite beach. You can also imagine a familiar, soothing hobby, like walking in nature, knitting or doing yoga.
- Visualize that scene and experience it through each sense. How does it smell, look, taste, feel & sound?
- If you find your mind wandering, go back and focus on the senses to ground you in the experience and connect you to your body.
- When you’re ready, envision a final event. Maybe you arrive at the end of your task, the end of a path, or your last yoga pose. Then bring your attention back to the room you’re in and what’s going on around you in the physical world.