Mind-body activities such as mindfulness meditation, imagery, and exercises like yoga and Tai-Chi can reduce your stress, anxiety and pain level, and have a positive effect on your physical health.
- Begin with a few moments of breathing and relaxation.
- Once you are relaxed, give yourself some time to let your imagination flow.
- Try to remember a situation in which you experienced love or peacefulness. Perhaps you might choose a memory of happiness or of compassion and caring. Be open to all that arises spontaneously in your imagination, as long as it conjures up a positive emotional state. Choose one of these experiences to specifically focus on for a while.
- As you hold this special experience in your mind, allow all of your senses to help intensify your memory. That is, imagine what you heard during this experience; what you smelled, tasted, and saw; and how it felt in your body. Take your time and enjoy.
- When your image is clear and vivid, let it bring back the emotions you originally felt. Allow those emotions to fill you, especially in your heart. Let yourself become filled with the positive emotions of that memory.
- Now, as you breathe in, let your breath join with your positive feelings and feel them spread throughout your body. If you choose love, then let yourself be filled with a loving feeling. If you choose happiness, let that emotional energy radiate throughout your body. Enjoy! That is the point of using imagery for wellness!
- When it is time to end, let your image slowly dissolve away and sit quietly, releasing tension every time you breathe in and out. Sit still for a moment before rising and returning to normal activity.
This relaxation exercise is from Cancer Support Community's publication, Frankly Speaking About Cancer Treatment: Take Control of Side Effects with Medicine, Mind and Body