What is guided imagery?

Who has never had a moving memory of a particular moment in their life while listening to music? Have you ever relived this moment in its smallest details? Smelled again the sweet perfume of that summer night? Tasted a fruit or a dish from your childhood? Has touching a certain fabric or a particular object ever awakened images from the past? This is how mental imagery and most healing guided meditations work. But this technique does not stop at pictorial evocation. We need to open it up to other senses to activate it and get the maximum benefit from it.

Mental imagery is one of the best-known and most widely used techniques in mental preparation. Several studies have shown that imagining an action improves its realization. Its effectiveness has been repeatedly verified and confirmed by research in sports psychology. It can also be used in therapeutic scenarios to reduce stress, anxiety, and even to heal physical or mental disorders. Guided visualization engages the imagination to achieve almost any desired state. Words, music, silence, and sound effects can be used to create a multi-layered sensory experience designed to achieve a specific outcome. This includes relaxation, sleep, focus, productivity, pain relief, and even weight loss.

Guided imagery calls all our senses in

Mental imagery consists in creating or recreating an experience, a situation, a gesture in your head. We are not all as sensitive to the evocative power of images. Fortunately, mental imagery and visualization can be used in three different ways:

Visual: the most common one, which uses images that are projected into our mind

Auditory: stimulated by a sound, by music

Kinesthetic: here it is the touch, the tactile sensation that evokes memories

However, as you have certainly experienced, these different modes are often exercised simultaneously. In the same way, the practice calls upon all our senses.

Trust your body, reveal your subconscious, heal deeply

The techniques of visualization and guided imagery are often used interchangeably, but they are quite distinct. In visualization, specific images are imposed on the mind. The function of guided imagery is to bring to the mind images produced by the imagination, intuition, and the unconscious, such as what happens in a dream. The idea is to use the intelligence of your own subconscious and your body’s ability to know what you are experiencing and what is good for you.

The two techniques have several fields of application and are sometimes used together. They are used in the field of sports, where they are now part of the training of any high-level athlete. In the therapeutic field, they can be used in situations that are highly dependent on the psyche, to modify behavior or reduce stress, for example. In terms of treating illnesses or diseases, they are generally used as a complement to medical treatments.

pexels-ron-lach-8487207 (1)

Guided Imagery As a Natural Therapy

This technique is used in various therapeutic contexts to gain insight into aspects of oneself, to stimulate creativity in all aspects of one’s life, to understand the causes of an illness, and to find ways to heal oneself.

Two syntheses of studies conclude that visualization, often in conjunction with other similar techniques, can reduce stress and anxiety and contribute to the general well-being of healthy people. It may also improve the well-being of people suffering from serious illnesses, such as cancer or AIDS. Visualization can also help alleviate the manifestations of most health problems that are related to or aggravated by stress, from hypertension and insomnia to arthritis and heart attacks.

In order to reach the state of mental relaxation necessary for the emergence of images that are not dictated by the conscious mind, it is necessary to begin the exercise with a period of relaxation of varying degrees and to free the mind of current preoccupations. Then, the subject begins a mental adventure that provides a favorable context and allows situations to materialize in his or her mind.

With the use of guided imagery, we create an inner space in which everything becomes possible. A space in which we are no longer subject to our inner critic and the injunctions that shape us. A space that allows us to reprogram ourselves to reach our goal.

The Benefits Of Guided Imagery

Optimize your internal resources by increasing your ability to concentrate and memorize.

Correct invasive negative feelings or emotions. For example, manage pressure by developing a positive feeling of well-being.

Project yourself into success and gain confidence.

With the use of guided imagery, we create an inner space in which everything becomes possible. A space in which we are no longer subject to our inner critic and the injunctions that shape us. A space that allows us to reprogram ourselves to reach our goal.

What better way to understand the principles and benefits of this form of meditation than to experiment on yourself? We are going to suggest that you relax, clear your mind and unwind by taking 2 or 3 deep breaths and breathing for a long time. Now imagine that you have a lemon in your hand. Feel the contact with your hand, its weight, its special texture. Now cut the fruit. You feel it open between your hands. Smell the characteristic aroma of the opened fruit. Put a piece in your mouth. Can you feel its texture on your palate and tongue? From the very first bite, the juice and the tangy taste of the fruit invade your taste buds…

How Does It Work?

Guided imagery techniques allow you to lure your brain. The use of mental imagery makes your unconscious receive the induced mental construction as a reality. Hence the interest of this technique for sophrology, but also for self-hypnosis. It is basically a guided meditation for healing. For your brain, you have really lived this experience. So, the more you train yourself to live it, the more your brain will consider it as real and will accept it. This is one of the first principles of this technique: learning by repetition.

In the same way, you will have noticed that in this very short exercise, we invited you to do, to feel, to perceive. This corresponds to the second principle: the principle of action. To be effective, mental imagery must not be limited to still images. It must encourage you to inhabit the scene or the action. Practice with Yogilab

What is guided imagery?

Who has never had a moving memory of a particular moment in their life while listening to music? Have you ever relived this moment in its smallest details? Smelled again the sweet perfume of that summer night? Tasted a fruit or a dish from your childhood? Has touching a certain fabric or a particular object ever awakened images from the past? This is how mental imagery and most healing guided meditations work. But this technique does not stop at pictorial evocation. We need to open it up to other senses to activate it and get the maximum benefit from it.

Mental imagery is one of the best-known and most widely used techniques in mental preparation. Several studies have shown that imagining an action improves its realization. Its effectiveness has been repeatedly verified and confirmed by research in sports psychology. It can also be used in therapeutic scenarios to reduce stress, anxiety, and even to heal physical or mental disorders. Guided visualization engages the imagination to achieve almost any desired state. Words, music, silence, and sound effects can be used to create a multi-layered sensory experience designed to achieve a specific outcome. This includes relaxation, sleep, focus, productivity, pain relief, and even weight loss.

Guided imagery calls all our senses in

Mental imagery consists in creating or recreating an experience, a situation, a gesture in your head. We are not all as sensitive to the evocative power of images. Fortunately, mental imagery and visualization can be used in three different ways:

  • Visual: the most common one, which uses images that are projected into our mind
  • Auditory: stimulated by a sound, by music
  • Kinesthetic: here it is the touch, the tactile sensation that evokes memories

However, as you have certainly experienced, these different modes are often exercised simultaneously. In the same way, the practice calls upon all our senses.

Trust your body, reveal your subconscious, heal deeply

The techniques of visualization and guided imagery are often used interchangeably, but they are quite distinct. In visualization, specific images are imposed on the mind. The function of guided imagery is to bring to the mind images produced by the imagination, intuition, and the unconscious, such as what happens in a dream. The idea is to use the intelligence of your own subconscious and your body’s ability to know what you are experiencing and what is good for you.

The two techniques have several fields of application and are sometimes used together. They are used in the field of sports, where they are now part of the training of any high-level athlete. In the therapeutic field, they can be used in situations that are highly dependent on the psyche, to modify behavior or reduce stress, for example. In terms of treating illnesses or diseases, they are generally used as a complement to medical treatments.

Guided imagery as a natural therapy

This technique is used in various therapeutic contexts to gain insight into aspects of oneself, to stimulate creativity in all aspects of one’s life, to understand the causes of an illness, and to find ways to heal oneself. Two syntheses of studies conclude that visualization, often in conjunction with other similar techniques, can reduce stress and anxiety and contribute to the general well-being of healthy people. It may also improve the well-being of people suffering from serious illnesses, such as cancer or AIDS. Visualization can also help alleviate the manifestations of most health problems that are related to or aggravated by stress, from hypertension and insomnia to arthritis and heart attacks.

In order to reach the state of mental relaxation necessary for the emergence of images that are not dictated by the conscious mind, it is necessary to begin the exercise with a period of relaxation of varying degrees and to free the mind of current preoccupations. Then, the subject begins a mental adventure that provides a favorable context and allows situations to materialize in his or her mind.

With the use of guided imagery, we create an inner space in which everything becomes possible. A space in which we are no longer subject to our inner critic and the injunctions that shape us. A space that allows us to reprogram ourselves to reach our goal.

pexels-ron-lach-8487207 (1)

The benefits of guided imagery

  • Optimize your internal resources by increasing your ability to concentrate and memorize.
  • Correct invasive negative feelings or emotions. For example, manage pressure by developing a positive feeling of well-being.
  • Project yourself into success and gain confidence.

With the use of guided imagery, we create an inner space in which everything becomes possible. A space in which we are no longer subject to our inner critic and the injunctions that shape us. A space that allows us to reprogram ourselves to reach our goal.

Example of a guided imagery meditation

What better way to understand the principles and benefits of this form of meditation than to experiment on yourself? We are going to suggest that you relax, clear your mind and unwind by taking 2 or 3 deep breaths and breathing for a long time. Now imagine that you have a lemon in your hand. Feel the contact with your hand, its weight, its special texture. Now cut the fruit. You feel it open between your hands. Smell the characteristic aroma of the opened fruit. Put a piece in your mouth. Can you feel its texture on your palate and tongue? From the very first bite, the juice and the tangy taste of the fruit invade your taste buds… How many of you have salivated or even felt the taste of the fruit when reading these few lines? Now imagine that instead of such a pleasant experience, you want to do guided imagery for anxiety, depression, fear, or any other thing that’s bothering you. Here’s how to do it:

Performing a guided imagery session alone

Here is an example of guided imagery to overcome a heartbreak.

Suppose that an incident that has already happened continues to contaminate your life beyond what is desirable and you cannot get rid of it.

Give the feeling a symbolic form, say a bottle filled with tears. Picture it in great detail – shape, color, texture, weight, etc. – and explicitly tell it that you don’t want to carry it anymore. Imagine yourself walking through a forest, finding a small clearing, digging a hole with a shovel and putting the bottle in it. You say your last goodbye with great conviction before filling the hole with earth, replacing the moss and wild plants on top. Then imagine yourself leaving the clearing, going back the way you came through the forest, and returning to your home with a relieved heart.

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