- Build hope
- Gain clarity
- Find peace
- Enhance brain function
This week, you are going to let your mind free! One of the best ways to lower stress is to teach yourself how to remove your attention from attachment to your current circumstances – even just for a minute or two. You will learn to place your attention on the experience of your ever present life and not on attachment to your ever changing life situation. There are dozens of stress management and relaxation practices--try them one at a time and pick the practice that works best for you.
Self-guided visualization, also referred to as self-guided imagery, is a handy and very effective way to do manage stress. This is a tool that you can learn quickly, use as often as you would like, and notice the benefits right away!
Self-guided visualization is a form of meditation, but one that is very easy for almost everyone to learn. Self-guided visualization has been shown to reduce anxiety and a variety of symptoms, ranging from headaches to nausea and pain. Self-guided visualization is gentle but very powerful! Self-guided visualization is based on the idea that images created by the mind can be as real to the body as actual experiences are. You can use a variety of things to start the process – you will be trying a few of these out throughout the week. And, remember, there is no “right answer.” Just relax, enjoy the process and know that you are doing wonders for your mood and your brain.
Starting today, you will let your imagination take charge – just for a minute. Every day this week, you will set aside at least one minute for a self-guided visualization. That’s right, just one minute a day! Of course, if you want to do this more often, feel free. Recent data from Harvard has found that taking even one conscious breath can change the way our genes are expressed!
Why It Works
Self-guided visualization has been shown to reduce anxiety and a variety of symptoms, ranging from headaches to nausea and pain and increases overall feelings of peacefulness and wellness.
Gaston-Johansson F, Fall-Dickson JM, Nanda JP, Sarenmalm EK, Browall M, Goldstein N. Long-term effect of the self-management comprehensive coping strategy program on quality of life in patients with breast cancer treated with high-dose chemotherapy. Psychooncology. 2013 Mar;22(3):530-9.
Targ EF, Levine EG. The efficacy of a mind-body-spirit group for women with breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2002 Jul-Aug;24(4):238-48.