Imagery is one of the most effective techniques used for stress management. For imagery to work, you have to let your imagination flow freely and picture just anything, it could be a place or a person, that can help you feel calm and happy. Basically, this technique stimulates all of your senses as you are required to fully immerse in the scene you are visualizing so as to create a realistic and powerful relaxing experience. Since imagery plays quite an important role in our lives, let’s have a quick read on its importance.
Runaway imagination – a major source of stress
All of us are naturally inclined to imagine something or the other during the day, especially when the mind is idle. However, usually, we focus on the bad worries of our life which trigger a runaway imagination. As a result, we start stressing about the things we don’t want to happen and end up being paralyzed with our imaginary fears. Runaway imagination is not what is actually happening to you but what you assume can happen. Studies have shown than 85 percent of the things people tend to worry about actually never happen. With imagery, you can use your imagination by engaging in positive worry instead. How to do this is explained in the next point highlighting the effectiveness of imagery.
Skillful imagination to relieve stress
Imagery encourages you to use your imagination for creating a mental state that you want. This method strives to change the way you are feeling by shifting your focus away from worries, stress, and pain using skillful imagination. The natural power of the mind can also help you explore your inner strength as well as creativity by linking images in your mind with the feelings and experiences you want. You are therefore required to develop skills to use your mind’s eye for inspecting issues that are bothering you from different angles before deriving the best solution to solve them.
So the good news is, that since runaway imagination is practically a learned habit, we can take advantage by altering it into skillful imagination creatively and shift focus away from the things we dread towards the things we feel relaxed about. For example, athletes sometimes use guided imagery to visualize themselves performing their best and this actually helps to boost performance in real life. Similarly, someone who is nervous or upset for any particular reason is recommended to visualize a relaxing scenario to cheer up. Moreover, even cancer patients can benefit through this therapy by visualizing healthy cells and organs to boost their willpower to survive as long as they can.
Adding emotional intelligence to resolve worry
Imagery is very closely linked to our emotions and how we think, so you have to train your body to learn some special skills regarding creative visualization in order to use it on purpose. Skillful imagination helps to send messages of confidence and positivity from your brain cells across your body so as to release it of all tensed feelings. Apparently, when we are suffering from certain problems that can’t be solved in that cortex, imagery brings the limbic brain into the situation that uses emotional intelligence to resolve the issue. What this means is that imagery doesn’t take anything away but in fact adds intelligence to your problem-solving. In other words, you can calm your brain with imagery just like you can make it anxious by letting your imaginations run wild. It all depends on where you want to focus your attention.
Empowering and calming the mind
Imagery is an interesting way of conveying information from your brain to your body. It is the language of arts, music, emotions and your deeper self. It tapers a region of the brain where wisdom resides. You will be amazed at how the workings of the mind can cast a powerful effect on the body. This is because our body tends to react similarly when we are imagining something or actually experiencing that situation in reality. For instance, when you imagine yourself in a beautiful place with beautiful surroundings, you can hear birds chirping, the fragrance around feels safe, you will gradually feel your body responding to these limbic signals and your mood will begin to uplift merely by the positive vibes generated through this imagery. It helps to calm the brain, expand awareness about a certain issue, add choices in problem-solving empowering the mind.
Not many people know about this unique technique and those who are aware might feel skeptical about using the power of a daydream to lower their stress and cope with difficulties. Nevertheless, it is a proven method by research and has numerous benefits. Mainly, it promotes relaxation and leads to lowering blood pressure and gradually diminishes other issues related to stress. It also has positive effects on the heart rate as well as breathing, brain waves and hormones. What better way could there be to calm down than being in complete control of your environment? Imagery lets you do just that. Whenever you feel panicked or tensed for any reason, just let your imagination loose and emphasize on positive worry to discover new possibilities rather than wasting energy on bad worry and fretting about something that may never even happen. In a nutshell, imagery is an excellent self-awareness tool.