Close your eyes….imagine you’re on a beach…feel the sand between your toes…taste the crisp tropical fruit on your plate…see the amazingly attractive individual sitting next to you…
We are all familiar with this guided imagery of finding your happy place to calm yourself and relax. But, did you know that visualization is actually very beneficial when used for mental health therapy?
Studies have shown that when you see something physically in front of you, a certain reaction goes off in your brain, and studies discovered that the same reaction occurs when you imagine that same object. Does your mood lighten when you see a loved one? Imagining that same person will have the same effect.
In this video from Oprah, she tells us that comedian Jim was one of her greatest teachers. In this clip from Carrey’s guest appearance on Oprah’s show in 1997 (yes this video is VINTAGE and we love it), he described how he used visualization to help him reach his goal of becoming a successful actor. He is an advocate of guided visualization, and has experienced using the practice to help him through hard times. Oprah sums it up nicely with this mantra: “If you can see it and believe it, it is a lot easier to achieve it.”
Jim Carrey’s practice is one kind of visualization, but there are many other ways that you can use guided imagery to help you.
- Visualizing a serene environment, or your happy place, can help you to cheer up and think positively.
- Imagining winning an award, or a crowd applauding your performance can help you become more motivated to get to that goal.
- Visualizing a babbling brook, waterfall, or anything that “flows” can help to balance your energy and put you at ease.
- The spiritual visualization of imagining what you believe in can help to cope with grief and bring you inner peace.
There are practitioners of guided imagery that you can visit to help you through the process, and there are tons of self help books that will do the same. However, why not try it for yourself so you can use this skill over and over again whenever you need it.
- Start by setting a relaxing mood. Play some calming music and get comfortable sitting or lying down.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath to become introspective.
- Visualize whatever you need for your desired outcome.
Use this simple technique for anything you are dealing with, big or small.
Oprah & BSW approved!
Have you used guided visualization and imagery to help you through any hardship or stress? How do you set the scene for yourself