Relaxation is a process that leaves the body and mind relaxed and calm, yet focused. There are many different ways to relax but I find visualisation one of the easiest ones to get into. Especially when times are stressy, it’s a quick way to feel more grounded and balanced again. Do you use it as a relaxation tool?
When it all get’s a bit too much I allow myself some time to take my mind on a little journey. Especially these past weeks have been a bit stressy and intense around me (more on this in one of my next blogs). But visualisation has been a great way to simply be, to give me a time out to chill and yet do something good for my mind and body.
As nice as the real, physical journeys are, a journey for the mind is not to be overlooked. And the best – you can practice it wherever you are!
Would you agree when I say that too often we try to achieve relaxation by hanging out in front of the TV, surf around on the computer or play games on the iPad? But let’s be honest, those are just cover-ups, l like to call them ‘pretend-relaxations’. After all, our mind is still on overdrive with all the images and information. So instead we should find ways to allow the mind to really de-stress and relax. Ways to balance out today’s stress factors and all the noise around us.
A good relaxation practise can do a lot for calming the body and mind, such as
– decrease the heart rate
– slow down and deepen the breathing
– relax the muscles
– reduce blood pressure
Practising regularly relaxation may help us to feel energised, become more motivated and productive, reduce aches and pains and it can even boost the immune system.
For me, it’s always a great way to calm my nerves – especially these flatters and slight panic moments when you are preparing for (yet another) move and the mind just keeps spinning into all “what if” scenarios. Perhaps you have those moments, too?
So yes, for me, Visualization works to stop this spinning mind of mine. It’s a technique with which you picture a calming, peaceful place, scene or situation. With practice, your mind focuses on creating this vision, without any distraction and hence relaxes body and mind.
Let your mind take you on a trip! It’s really a great way to relax, focus and recharge.
You can either read a visualisation text or you can listen to a visualisation. I personally prefer the later option as I find it’s an easier way to let go and dive into the situation. Either way below I attach some links for both so you can get started.
Just some hints before you start:
Make sure you will not be interrupted, put your telephone on silence. If you can then use headphones to really be in the moment.
To avoid falling asleep a seated position is recommended, but sometimes I find it easier to let go when lying down. When I struggle to fall asleep I use visualisation as a bedtime routine. When I wake up during the night I often use the flow of the sun salutation as a calming down routine, I mentioned that in my previous blog if you want to know more about that one.
But obviously, you should never use any relaxation techniques while driving or when busy with other activities that require your attention!
But enough talking, time for action – oh no hang on – not action, but relaxation! Here you find two listening visualisations and one reading version:
Take yourself to the beach (from the IOWA State University)
Take yourself to the Ocean (from McKinley)
To read: Take yourself to the beach:
I hope you will find some ease with these visualisations! And since I am always on the lookout for new stories, please feel free to share links, books, CDs you may have on this topic! Thank you!
By the way, visualisation is as well a great way to get children started with relaxation methods. They are imaginative by nature and usually tend to enjoy this.
PS: Due to some personal changes and holiday season my posts might not be weekly at the moment. I need to see how time works out the next weeks. But I hope to manage at least bi-weekly! Thank you for your understanding and on-going support!