Practice Visualization

Visualization is a method to calm the body and mind by actively imagining yourself in a calming environment. Here is an easy visualization to try:

  1. Lie down or sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Take a few deep breaths and let your eyes close.
  3. Start at the top of your head and move down through each body part, letting go of the tension in each area, as much as possible.
  4. Imagine yourself in a calm, peaceful place--it might be a sunny field of wildflowers in a mountain valley or a lovely beach.
  5. Use all of your senses to bring the place alive. Hear the trees rustling in the breeze or the ocean breaking upon the beach. Smell the fresh air. Feel the breeze and sun on your face. See the details of the landscape: where is the sun? What color is the sky? Are there birds in the trees?
  6. Stay in this visual setting as long as you can, letting yourself relax further with each breath. Think of words like softening, melting, and heavy to help you let go of tension in your muscles.
  7. When you are ready, slowly bring your awareness back to your actual surroundings and bring to awaken your body with small movements. Open your eyes.

Information provided by Karen K. Ross, PhD, a clinical psychologist and family therapist in Los Angeles.

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