Friday, July 8, 2011

Guided Imagery

Visualize a calmer you. Guided imagery, a process in which you picture yourself relaxed and in control, can be a powerful stress reliever.
In the middle of a stressful moment, who hasn’t wished they could escape to a tropical island or mountain retreat? Envisioning yourself in a calm and tranquil place can actually help bring stress levels down. Known as guided imagery, or creative visualization, this relaxation technique has been shown to reduce stress — as well as anxiety and pain.

One study at the University of Miami found that guided imagery, along with music, lowered levels of depression, fatigue and stress. Another study, involving breast cancer patients, showed that visualization helped reduce stress, boost mood and improve their quality of life.
I don’t have to tell you that stress can take a major toll on your mood and self-esteem. When you feel like a circumstance is out of your control or beyond your coping abilities, you get stressed. By transporting you to a place where you’re relaxed and in control, guided imagery can help you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat. When you regain a sense of control, the situation often feels much more manageable.

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