With over 20 years of training and studying traditional and alternative techniques, and different approaches to treating anxiety and depression, I have gathered many great tools that have helped me, and my clients heal from chronic anxiety and depression naturally, without medication. One of these great tools is meditation, including guided meditation and visualization.
Not only has it helped me heal from chronic insomnia, it also helped me to experience more peace and joy in my life.I have even started using guided meditation as part of my internship working with cancer patients. I also completed trainings in clinical hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). To read more about these modalities, feel free to visit my website.
With guided meditation, we focus our thoughts on pleasant images and thus, we give our rational/conscious mind a break. This is especially true if we have a lot of intrusive or obsessive thoughts and tend to worry a lot.
Today I wanted to share with you guided meditation/visualization exercise which also includes progressive muscle relaxation.First, find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted and turn off all electronics and phones. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes. You can sit down on a comfortable chair or even lie down. Start by taking a deep breath. Inhale through your nose and hold your breath, then gently and slowly exhale. Repeat this step three times.
Now, imagine that there is a healing white light traveling from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. With each breath, imagine you are becoming more and more relaxed. Scan your body for any tension. Start at the top of your head, your forehead, your eyes, your temples, and the area around your mouth, and ears. Keep going, and if any thoughts come to your mind, notice and release them.
Continue with your shoulders, your left shoulder, and then your right shoulder. Your right elbow, right wrist, your hand, and all your fingers on your hand. Repeat the same with your left elbow, wrist, hand, and fingers. Keep breathing while letting go of any tension.
Notice the chest area, your hips, your tummy and keep going down to your left leg, knee, all the way down to the soles of your feet. Repeat the same with your right leg; Feeling the tension leaving your body.
Now that you are relaxed, visualize your favorite place to relax.Notice all the colors, smells, and scents. Feel the earth beneath your feet, listening to the pleasant noises… especially if you are in the forest. Notice the vibrant colors of the flowers, trees, and any animals that happen to stop by. If you are on the beach, feel the sand gently rubbing against your skin. If you are in the forest, take a look around and smell the fresh scent of pine or birch trees. Maybe there is a brook with water gently lapping over the rocks. The temperature is just right… not too cold… not too warm. Just perfect.
Think of all the blessings in your life and know that you can always come back to this place whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Have you ever tried Progressive Muscle Relaxation to calm anxiety and/or stress? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section below!– Mateja