Guided visualizations and imagery are a wonderful tool for relaxation and healing. By activating and stimulating your senses through imagery, you can decrease stress, relieve anxiety, reduce overall pain and tensions in your body, and better cope with difficult situations in your life.

According to some studies, guided imagery has especially been effective when used for relieving pain and anxiety by patients before and after a surgery.

These guided visualizations can be used to engage your mind, rest your body, and restore your energy. It is best to have someone read them to you as a script or record yourself reading them out loud so you can follow along with them.

Waterfall cascade

A waterfall cascade is a wonderful guided visualization for purification, clarity, and refreshment. Immersing yourself in this guided visualization aids you in releasing frustration, emotional tension, and mind fog.

  1. Find a comfortable position either seated or lying down. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. On your inhale, feel your heart expanding. On your exhale, breathe out any thoughts, worries, or doubts. Repeat this three times.
  2. Envision yourself walking through a wild green forest. As you make your way around a bend, you notice a beautiful waterfall streaming down over the side of a cliff. There is a walkway leading to underneath the waterfall, beckoning you onward. This waterfall looks sparkling, cool, and inviting. As you behold this sight, take a deep inhale, releasing emotional tension during your exhale. Instantly, you feel clear of mind.
  3. You start to move towards this waterfall, and as you get close you begin to feel more relaxed and at ease in your body. You feel a gentleness flowing through you as you approach. Now, you reach out your hand, allowing the cool water to wash over your arms. As you move closer, the water cascades down around your shoulders.. your neck.. your hair. Standing under this waterfall, as the water streams down around you, all your stress washes away. The crisp water brings you clarity of mind and heart.
  4. Remain with the waterfall for as long as you feel called. When you are clear, calm, and filled with inner harmony, you begin to move away from the waterfall, offering your gratitude for its healing power. When you’re ready, return to normal waking consciousness and open your eyes.

waterfall in the forest

Colors of rainbow

The colors of the rainbow visualization is perfect when you need a bit of upliftment. Each color will lend its soothing, healing energy to you, allowing you to sink into a state of blissful relaxation. If you are familiar with chakra energy, this meditation is also a wonderful way to center yourself and obtain energetic alignment.

  1. Find a comfortable position either seated or lying down. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. On the inhale, feel your heart expanding. On the exhale, breathe out any thoughts, worries, or doubts. Repeat this three times.
  2. Envision yourself standing in a warm, sunlit meadow. A light rain has just sprinkled the plants with nourishing water. As the sun appears again, right in front of you on the horizon appears a fully arching rainbow. You can see it from end to end looping over the meadow.
  3. You feel delighted and hopeful as you gaze at each and every color. First you notice the red. The color red fills you with an energy of comfort and nurturing. You feel grounded, secure, and at home in this meadow. You are safe and provided for. Next, you see the orange. The color orange cleanses your emotional energy. Looking at it, you feel old hurts being mended and heartfelt acceptance taking their place. Take a deep breath in and out, you are at peace here.
  4. You look up to the next arch and feel a bright bliss wash over you gazing at the color yellow. It fills you with a delightful feeling of well-being and contentment. From here, you gaze upward to the green. As you do, your heart melts with happiness and joy. Here, in this meadow, you know it’s okay to let your guard down and be fully at ease.
  5. You take another deep inhale and exhale, then look upward to see the color blue. As you gaze at it, you sink deeper into a state of tranquility. Calmness washes over you. Finally, you gently look at the color purple. Its majestic color soothes you. You feel completely alleviated.
  6. You now return your attention to the meadow. As you gaze up at the rainbow one more time, gratitude fills your entire being. In this space, you are centered, at peace, and calm. Spend as much time with the colors of the rainbow as you’d like. When you are fulfilled, return to your normal waking consciousness and open your eyes.

woman eyes colors rainbow

Calm, breezy beach

This calm, breezy beach meditation is best for when you want to release your cares and worries. The sensation of being on a beach will wipe away your concerns and bring in a soothing energy. Through this visualization, you will feel worry-free, at ease, and supremely content in the present moment.

  1. Find a comfortable position either seated or lying down. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. On the inhale, feel your heart expanding. On the exhale, breathe out any thoughts, worries, or doubts. Repeat this three times.
  2. Envision yourself walking along the beach, with your toes in the sand, on a bright, sunny day. As you walk along, the ocean’s tide comes sweeping over your feet. You turn to look out over the ocean and embrace its expansiveness. Breathing in the salty air, you lift your hands up to the sky and are delighted by the sun streaming down on you, warming your body with radiant joy.
  3. You begin walking again and find a spot to lay down on the sand. It feels comfortable on your back, sinking you deeper into relaxation. In the background, you hear the waves crashing with a steady rhythm. All your thoughts melt into the sunlight. You are absolutely content at this moment. You are safe and in complete harmony with the world around you.
  4. Continue to enjoy your time on the beach. When you are ready, return to normal waking consciousness and open your eyes.

Calm breezy sunny beach

Floating on a cloud

The floating on a cloud mediation is a wonderful tool for pain management, releasing unhealthy thoughts, and bringing in a sense of lightness to your day. By traveling to the clouds, you gain levity that aids you in transcending stress and inviting in a light relaxation that will leave you feeling inspired with new ideas.

  1. Find a comfortable position either seated or lying down. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. On the inhale, feel your heart expanding. On the exhale, breathe out any thoughts, worries, or doubts. Repeat this three times.
  2. Envision yourself laying down on the grass, staring up at the bright, blue sky. As you are gazing upward, a fluffy white cloud comes into view. You smile at the puffy texture of the cloud as you take a deep inhale, drawing in a balloon of air to your belly. As you exhale, you begin to float up towards the cloud. You breathe in another belly-full of air, and exhale, floating up higher. With a few breaths, you are floating up in the sky along with this cloud.
  3. The cloud’s puffy texture feels soft on your skin. There’s a bit of moisture that covers your face like cooling dewdrops as you breeze through the cloud. You don’t mind because it refreshes you as the sun shines brightly. As you float around this cloud, your body feels light. Notice all your aches and pains, worries and troubles, disappearing. You are weightless and at ease. Spend as much time as you’d like floating above the cloud, feeling at ease and free.
  4. When you are ready to go back to the ground, exhale your breath with more force, as though you’d blowing out candles, and you will begin your descent downward. You can take your time and enjoy the easy-going journey back to the ground. When you arrive, take a look up at your cloud and know you will embody your journey through the rest of your day. Take another deep breath, return to normal waking consciousness, and open your eyes.

clouds

Final thoughts

These techniques can be used for both stress and anxiety but also for pain-relief and insomnia. There are some scientific evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of guided imagery, especially for individuals experiencing pain. For example one study demonstrated that guided imagery enhances the body’s own capacities of healing, by first sending signals to the emotional center of the brain which then affects different bodily functions like the heart, breathing and blood pressure through the endocrine, immune and autonomic nervous system. So it’s safe to say that our capacity to visualize different scenes in our minds combined with the power of belief can do more than just soothe our capricious thoughts but also trigger actual healing responses in the body.

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