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Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seemed to go wrong? No matter what you did, your day just seemed to spiral out of control, and of course, your stress levels hit record highs.
The good news is… there is help. You just need to believe it. Visualization is a great way to unwind and reduce anxiety… and it works – I’m living proof of it. I’ve found that visualization helps my mind develop clarity and focus, and it helps me gain perspective on life and the chaotic events that may seem to constantly damage my state of calm.
With visualization, it is possible to reprogram your mind to believe the reality you are trying to create. This means you can think it, see it, believe it and achieve it.
How Does Visualization Promote Relaxation and Stress Reduction?
When you are stressed, your mind is placed under pressure. Visualization helps relieve that pressure because your mind can relax as you start to imagine the answer to your problems, or picture yourself far away from them. With visualization, you step outside of your current troubled moment and let your physical, emotional, and mental “self” decompress.
You remove the pressure with visualization by thinking of a pleasant place, seeing yourself solving the problems that plague you, or imagining yourself being happier than you currently are. With visualization, you will start to relax as pressure is removed, and you will find your stress levels are greatly reduced.
Visualization uses the power of your own imagination to create the mental or physical state you want to achieve. You can see yourself being calm, and you can imagine yourself working in a peaceful place where your colleagues are helpful and supportive.
This is not simply daydreaming. Instead, you start with the goal, envision it so you can really see it, and then you plan how you will reach that goal. Using visualization, you see yourself walking the path to this ultimate goal you have planned.
Visualization Tools and Methods
Visualization is not simply about imagining the changes you want to achieve. While you may want to win the lottery, you can’t make it happen simply by imagining it. You need to do something too.
So, if you dream of being a billionaire one day, you can backtrack on that vision. Envision yourself starting a Fortune 500 company, getting your first Forbes business review, and finally, your first startup company that leads to all this.
When you visualize it intently, you create the intent to pursue your dreams (or manifest them) and thereby release the unhappiness that has been causing you stress.
Even something as simple as visualizing yourself relaxing for 10 minutes at the side of a pool when you are feeling hot and bothered at work can be effective in releasing tension and stress.
Visualization is so powerful since it taps into your subconscious mind, which is a powerful force that can change your perceptions and expectations. These tools can help you really unchain your true stress-free potential.
Sometimes you don’t really know what it is you need to release your tension and stress. You just know that you feel anxious and worked up right now and you need a release right now!
When visualizing for the purpose of relaxing in this moment, you can use your imagination to transport yourself to a different place that is peaceful and calm. No two people will visualize exactly the same place and feel calm.
While I enjoy walking through a fir-green forest with my toes digging into the soft forest loam, you may prefer to sit quietly in a park while butterflies drift by as autumn leaves tinge the sky to shades of russet, amber, gold, and red.
Interpret your imagination and direct it toward creating your world where you feel safe, peaceful, calm, and serene. The more you visit this place, the better your visualization will become. Soon, you need only think of that place, and your current tension simply melts away as you are instantly there.
Your senses will direct you since these amazing gifts are what we use to interpret our world. Focus your senses on your happy place. Can you hear birds in the forest as you walk there, or do you hear the waves on the beach where you sit and breathe in your mind? Perhaps you can smell the ocean or you feel the sensation of sand grains trickling through your fingers?
Use your senses to help make the visualization as real as you can. When you can believe it is real or possible, you will instantly become disentangled from your current reality and the stressors there.
The Path Visualization
One of the most powerful visualization techniques you can use is to picture your life as a path. At the very furthest end of the path is your destination. This can be you as a peaceful person, or it can show your future goals.
If your goal is to be stress-free, you would picture yourself being peaceful and unbothered by the minor dramas of life. But you were not always like that, so you picture the path that led you to the destination. Did you do more breathing or consciously relax your body once a day? These are all stops along the road to peace.
Now you can walk the path backward, noting the steps you take to the destination, which is peace. These can easily become goals to set yourself too.
Tips to Limit Distractions
Distraction can really impair your ability to visualize. Use these tips to help guide you to a better visualization.
- Visualize when you are in a quiet space.
- Start your visualization session with a couple of sets of conscious breaths.
- Take off restrictive clothes and jewelry to help free your body to interact with your mind.
- Use intentional distraction to block out other distractions that you can’t control. An example of this is to trace a spiral on the palm of your hand so your hands won’t fidget while you visualize.
- Mute phones and switch off TV sets or computers that may make a distracting sound while you focus inward on your visualization.
3 Benefits for the Mind and Body with Relaxation and Stress Reduction
There are numerous benefits to being less stressed and more relaxed. Aside from the obvious benefit of feeling better and being nicer to those around you, your body and mind will thrive when you intentionally release pressure and welcome inner peace. It’s a great morning routine to cultivate too.
1. Stress Reduction Leads to Better Heart Health
When the body is under less stress, the heart functions better. Improved circulation results from a healthier heart, and this stimulates better toxin removal via the blood.
2. Relaxation Stimulates the Lungs
When you are stressed, you gasp for breath. As soon as you relax, your breathing deepens, and you start to release your muscles. The lungs are then able to breathe more effectively, which leads to better lung health.
3. A Clear Mind Is a Calm Mind
Your mind is a reflection of your body. Stress leads to nervous tension, which is echoed in the mind with repetitive thoughts and worries. With visualization techniques, you can start to clear your mind, reduce mental noise, and gain clarity. Your body will echo this with better overall health.
Final Thoughts on Visualization to Promote Relaxation and Stress Reduction
Visualization is perhaps one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal for managing stress and improving relaxation. The health benefits are clear, and it doesn’t take a degree in psychology to achieve.
Simply sit quietly, take a deep breath, let your mind wander and soften as you dive into the peaceful place you have created with your visualizations.
If you want to extend your visualization into your daily life and use it to guide you toward your future, consider learning how to make a vision board.