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Image by Cody Fitzgerald

Positive relaxation imagery

Positive relaxation imagery is used to aid relaxation and reduce emotional and physical tension. Co-authors of the book 'Stress Management: A Quick Guide', Prof Stephen Palmer and Lynda Strickland, recommend picturing a pleasant scene, imaginary or real, such as being in a garden, walking through the countryside, your favourite holiday destination or whatever you find relaxing. They suggest a simple ten step approach.

Step 1: Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.

Step 2: If possible, reduce the level of lighting.

Step 3: Make yourself comfortable. Sit, or, if you like, lie down.

Step 4: Close your eyes and imagine your favourite place where you feel relaxed.

Step 5: Focus on the colours in your relaxing place.

Step 6: Now focus on one colour.

Step 7: Now focus on the sounds or silence in your place.

Step 8: Now focus on any smells or aromas in your relaxing place.

Step 9: Now imagine touching something in your relaxing place.

Step 10:When you are ready, open your eyes.

Palmer and Strickland suggest that if this method is practised on a regular basis, then most individuals become able to reach a relaxed state relatively quickly. It can also help individuals who are experiencing sleeping difficulties.

© 1995, 1996, Palmer and Strickland

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