Guided visualization involves using your imagination to help put your body in a more relaxed state. Just as our bodies can become tense in response to negative and anxious thoughts, our bodies can also become relaxed in response to pleasant and peaceful thoughts. One of the most basic ways we can experience this state of mind is to close our eyes and imagine being in a place that is peaceful and relaxing. Today we’ll use guided visualization to help you learn the process.
Guided Visualization Practice
Close your eyes. Allow yourself to get comfortable. Begin with a few slow deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your body get relaxed. Now, use your imagination to picture yourself walking slowly along a path. It’s a pleasant path. It’s a beautiful day, and you feel relaxed and happy. You can feel the warmth and energy of the sunlight on your skin. Soon you come to a gate. You know this gate leads to a special place where you feel welcomed, safe, and comfortable. Push the gate open and allow yourself to enter your very own private garden.
Your garden is filled with your favorite things. Whatever is pleasing to you can be found in this place. Perhaps there are flowers, trees, animals, birds, water, or even music. Look around and notice what is in your garden. Notice all the colors and objects that are in this place. Notice how beautiful they are.
Your garden is calm and tranquil. Everything peacefully co-exists in the garden. Become aware of how things might feel in this private place of yours. Begin to explore this place with your sense of touch. Perhaps some things are soft and warm, and others are smooth and cool. Simply spend some time exploring, using your sense of touch as you continue to feel at peace and comfortable. Notice what the air feels like; is it cool or warm? Is there a breeze or is it still? Take the time to feel the peace and serenity in this private place.
As you continue to explore your garden by seeing and feeling, become aware of the sounds that you hear in your garden. The sounds in your garden are pleasing to the ear and very comforting. Perhaps it is quiet in your garden, or maybe there are a number of sounds. Some of the sounds may be very soft, while others may be louder. Relax and listen for a while and see if you can identify the different sounds in your garden.
As you’re listening to the sounds in your garden, become aware of what smells you might smell. Take a deep breath in, and notice the fragrances that are present. Some of them may be familiar, while others may be unfamiliar. Take your time and enjoy your visit to the garden, using it in whatever way that you wish. Spend the time that is necessary for you to rejuvenate and to care for yourself. When you are ready to leave, slowly walk back towards the gate of your garden.
By Dipika Pandit, MD, MPHDr. Dipika Pandit believes in building a healthy lifestyle that empowers you to heal, not just getting you on the next pill. Dr. Dipika completed her medical training at Loma Linda University – including medical school, and a combined residency in Family Medicine & Preventive Medicine. She believes that health is more than just the physical body, and encompasses the relationships we surround ourselves with, as well as our own spiritual, mental, and emotional nurturing. Dr. Dipika is passionate about empowering people and community – to take control of their health through lifestyle changes, and to increase their quality of life.
We know how it feels when health issues get in the way of activities that you used to love, or spending time with your loved ones. Lifestyle Medical is a primary care provider dedicated to empowering people to make healthier lifestyle choices. Many of our members have reversed chronic conditions, reduced medications, and regained their energy and joy.