Imagery techniques are commonly used for a variety of reasons including helping people to relax, gain confidence, improve mood, reduce distress, gain insight and reflect, help overcome injury, and get a good amount of sleep.
To begin with, try finding a comfortable and safe spot, which helps you feel relaxed. Ensure it is a quiet place and somewhere that you will not be easily distracted or disturbed. When you are ready, try taking some deep breaths and close your eyes, becoming aware of any tension in your body and slowly releasing it with each breath that you take.
When you are feeling relaxed and comfortable, visualise an outdoor place that helps you feel peaceful and calm. It may have been a place that you have visited on holiday, or somewhere you have dreamt of, or perhaps simply seen a picture of online and enjoyed how it looked. Attached are a few images for inspiration. When you have an image in mind, it is now time to go to that peaceful place and explore it. Here are few ways you can do this
- -What kind of smells can you smell in your safe place? If you are at the beach, perhaps you can smell salt or some fish and chips cooking in the distance. Alternatively, if you are visiting a peaceful forest, perhaps you can smell moss or burning wood from a campfire.
- -What can you hear around you? Can you hear birds in the distance or the sound of crashing waves? Perhaps you might even imagine people with you in the safe place talking and laughing.
- -What can you see around you? Try to make this as vivid as possible. Take into account the colours that you can see, whether they are warm or dark colours. What kind of shapes do you see? Take into account how objects move. Perhaps the wind is gently blowing through the winds of the trees or maybe it is raining where you currently are. Notice the textures of the things around you. For instance, are you sitting on some soft warm sand? Or maybe you are surrounded by cold white snow?
- -Can you taste anything? For instance, perhaps if you are in a tropical warm place you are treating yourself to an ice cream. However, if you are in a cold place maybe you are treating yourself to something nice and warm like a hot chocolate.
- -Lastly, focus and visualise any sensations. For instance, how does the earth feel beneath you or how does the air move around you? Are you perhaps lying on some grains of sand at the beach or can you feel the wind in your hair? Perhaps the sun feels hot on your face or maybe it is cold where you currently are.
- -While you are visiting your safe and peaceful place, try to find a name for it. It can be anything that you like. This will help you return to your safe place in the future when you need to.
If you would like some more information about imagery techniques please give LETSS a call on 1800 013 755 or start a web chat via www.letss.org.au
*images from Unsplash by Mark Koch & Seefromthesky*