Guided imagery is one technique that can be used for stress management. It involves guiding yourself through a scene or scenes where each of the senses is evoked, using images that elicit relaxation.
The following is a brief exercise that you can do to show the power that the mind has over the body and its physiological processes:
Imagine holding a fresh, juicy, yellow lemon in your hand. Allow yourself to feel its texture and see the brightness of its yellow skin. As you slice it open, you see and feel the juice squirting out of it. Taste the lemon and let the juices run over your tongue, suck on the lemon and taste the sour flavor as you notice your cheeks may pucker and you heavily salivate.
After this guided imagery exercise, notice what physical changes occurred in your body, i.e. the extra saliva, the twinge in the cheeks, etc. We tend to be surprised about how much our thoughts do in fact affect our body.
There are several good books available with sample scripts on guided imagery (See the Stress Management Article Bibliography). Here is a sample script I created from various trainings, mentors and workshops over the years, which I use with my clients. It is best to get comfortable with the general structure of it and to read through it slowly to allow the visualizations and sensations to appear to you. You can then read it into a recorder for playback (for personal use only, copyrighted material).
Check out Barbara’s mp3’s for unique guided imagery resources!