“The Language Of The Nervous System Comes Down To Feelings And Images.”
Guided imagery is a tool used by RIC coaches, hypnotists, and some therapists to help people with anxiety or other mental conditions to focus on pictures that evoke sensations of relaxation. This tool helps to maintain the connection between the mind and the body, and is really important for the overall well-being and health of a person.
In guided imagery, the anxiety sufferer is asked to think of images with sensory language behind it to help improve his/her physical as well as mental health.
In a full session of guided imagery, the professional will offer verbal prompts to enable the anxiety sufferer to focus his/her attention on the imagery. In some cases, the teacher may play music during the session. The coach may ask the client to see the different sensory facets of the imagined scenario.
For example, a person with anxiety may be asked to think of a peaceful sunshine-filled place and then envision the sensory delights like fragrances, textures, music, sounds, and colors that are present in that place. Not only this, but guided imagery can be used to begin perceiving past emotional traumas in a whole new way, thereby lessening the emotional response in the present and heal anxiety.
Guided imagery techniques to heal anxiety thus expands on visualization therapy as it includes all the 5 senses.
The very design of guided imagery seeks to positively affect the mind as well as the body; the muscles undergo slow relaxation accompanied by slower and more controlled breathing, thereby generating a state of complete peace, relaxation, and calmness.
There may be some similarities between guided imagery and hypnosis, which also involves invoking a state of calmness. And both hypnosis and guided imagery involve some amounts of visualization and increased focus on the subconscious mental extravaganza.
However, guided imagery involves increased prominence on the senses while hypnosis therapy lays emphasis on suggestions.
Hypnosis and targeted affirmations to heal anxiety make use of the relaxed mental and physical state of a person and helps him/her become more open to newer beliefs, principles, and ideas. The guided imagery tool engages the senses of an anxiety sufferer to help them focus their attention on a cause of the worry (like their anxiety about an upcoming test) and subsequently imagine a preferred outcome of that worrisome event (like doing well in the test).
In the days gone by, guided imagery was considered an alternative approach to resolving anxiety and other mental health issues. Currently, it has gained support and widespread popularity due to its effectiveness in ending anxiety for good!
In addition to anxiety, guided imagery is now widely used for treating varied conditions like stress, depression, grief, substance abuse, relationship problems, post-traumatic stress, parenting and family issues, and diminished self-help/self-care, etc.