Healthytarian Minutes with holistic teacher Evita Ochel. This episode explains how guided imagery and visualization works to relieve stress, provide relaxation and improve wellbeing, along with a sample exercise.
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Visualization exercises, such as guided imagery, are a wonderful technique you can use anytime to decrease the effects of stress and improve your wellbeing. Research has shown that when we visualize an action, we stimulate the same brain regions as when we actually perform that same action. Mental imagery also engages the brain with deeper interest and attention, and shifts your focus away from stressful thoughts, towards pleasant thoughts.
To perform guided imagery exercises, use ones created by others or create them yourself based on content that you find most pleasurable. Start by taking yourself on a mental journey, using imagery, to a favorite spot which can be real or imagined. Aim to mentally use all of your senses for maximum engagement. Here is an example of a guided imagery exercise:
Close your eyes. Imagine yourself sitting on a soft, white sand beach. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin. Hear the gentle sound of the ocean waves as they lap on the shore. Breathe in the fresh ocean air. Notice the vibrant palm trees, gently swaying in the breeze. Enjoy a sip of the fresh coconut water present by your side. As you take in the pleasant sweetness of your drink, push your feet deeper into the soft sand and feel its powdery texture. Stay here, taking in the wonderful sights, sounds, tastes and smells for as long as you like.
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