Relaxation Techniques: Guided Meditation and Visualization

Sandi Anders, MDiv, CSC

Guided Meditation -- Effective Relaxation Technique

Guided meditation -- also referred to as guided relaxation or guided imagery -- is among the most effective ways to relax and recover a sense of balance.

What Is Guided Meditation?

In guided meditation the soothing voice of a teacher or guide -- a stress management specialist -- leads you in meditation. The words are often coupled with calming music or soft sounds of nature.

Guided Meditation Is Easy to Work With

Many people find guided meditation to be easier to use because they can let go, relax, and follow a soothing voice which leads them to greater peace, clarity and stillness.

Visualization -- How Does It Work?

The use of relaxing visualization and imagery allows you to draw your attention away from a perception of danger or threat while you direct your focus on relaxing and healing images. Using this relaxation technique, you visualize yourself in a peaceful, safe place of your choosing. You might select a wooded landscape, the ocean, the warmth of a fireplace, as well as a fictional sanctuary that might not physically exist.

Use of the Senses in Visualization

As you go on your inward imaginary journey to a safe, peaceful place, endeavor to use as many senses as you can -- including smells, sights, sounds and textures. Sense everything surrounding you in this ideal place. The more realistic your image and the greater your body sense is of being in your chosen place, the more relaxed your will feel when you come back to reality.

For example, if you visualize relaxing at the sea, consider the warmth from the sun's rays, the sound of the surf rolling into the shoreline, the feel of the grains of sand as well as the sharp odor of the salt water.

Guided Meditation and Visualization -- Relaxation Techniques that Can Lower Stress

When you practice relaxation using guided meditation and visualization on a regular basis, you can change the way that you react to stressful situations and find ways of being in challenging situations with more calm, peace, and resourcefulness.

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