Guided imagery is a stress-relief method. It helps interrupt cycles of stressful thoughts. It is easy to learn. Best of all, you can use it anywhere to reduce your stress and feel calmer.

When dealing with a serious illness, you face many stressful details. Making decisions and taking care of these details is important. Yet, focusing only on stressful topics can cause you high levels of anxiety. Thoughts about stressful situations can run through your head over and over. Stopping them can be difficult. Many people suffer this when they are trying to fall asleep. It makes it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Guided imagery exercises can help you interrupt this cycle. They can help replace stressful thoughts with more relaxing ones. They can help decrease feelings of anxiety and worry. This can make you feel more relaxed by focusing your thoughts on a calm place or object.

The first step of guided imagery is to pick a situation or object on which to focus. Select something that is comfortable or relaxing. Common examples include your favorite vacation spot or place in your home, the ocean, or the sky. The important thing is that you pick something that is relaxing to you. Next, close your eyes and picture the situation or object you selected. Make the image in your mind as real as possible by adding lots of details. Think about these details to help your mind relax:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What time of day is it?
  • Is anyone with you?

You may find that your mind wanders during the imagery. It may even wander to the stressful thoughts you were having before. This wandering is normal. When you notice your mind wandering, just bring it back to the relaxing imagery.

Click here for additional information on guided imagery. Click here for an audio recording of a guided imagery exercise with background music and without background music.

Become more stress-free with guided imagery!