“The very greatest things – great thoughts, discoveries, inventions – have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty.” – Samuel Smiles
Guided imagery is a way of using the imagination in a focused, directed way to help mind and body heal, stay strong, and perform as needed. It’s focused attention on a mental picture or belief. It’s a skill that can get better with practice, and it tends to work best in a relaxed atmosphere.
People have been known to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, depression and physical pain, reduce or eliminate habits and even speed up recovery from cuts, burns, fractures and surgery. It also improves performance in sports and business.
You don’t have to believe in mental imagery for it to work. Just be willing to give it a try.
Imagery works because images are events to the body. To the body, images created in the mind can be as real as actual events. In fact, the mind responds to imagery as if it were something “real” happening, especially if the images are strong enough to activate the recall of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel.
So, for instance, recalling the smell and feel of the air at the start of the first winter snowfall is an image. Remembering the sound and timbre of your Dad’s voice, saying he’s proud of you, is an image. And recalling the bristle of energy in your body when you realize you are about to triumph at something you’ve been striving for – that it’s going to happen, is also an image.
These sensory images are an actual language of the body, the only language it understands immediately. To the body, these images can be almost as real as actual events. Our bodies don’t distinguish between images in the mind and what we call reality.
This kind of mental imagery is usually most effective in a relaxed condition. This is a state of relaxed focus – a kind of calm but energized alertness. Attention is concentrated on one thing, or on a very narrow band of things. As this happens, there is a heightened sensitivity to what is focused on, and a decreased awareness of what is happening in the physical environment.
A powerful principle behind guided imagery’s effectiveness is that it gives a sense of control and mastery over what is happening in your life, and it instills a feeling of being able to deal with challenges and feel expectant about the future.
It’s YOUR mind. Use it well.
The best is yet to come!