Sunday, June 15, 2008

Imagine This

Guided Imagery is very similar to meditation. It uses your imagination to guide your thoughts to a relaxed place or time. It is based on the concept that your mind and body are connected. If you can place your mind somewhere, your body will respond and follow. Using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real.

Guided imagery is used to promote relaxation, which can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. It has been used to reduce the pain and trauma of childbirth. You can also use it to help reach goals such as losing weight or quitting smoking.

To try it, close your eyes and imagine you are holding an orange. Bring to your mind the texture and color of the orange. Imagine the smell of it and breathe the scent into your nose. Peel the orange and imagine the juice dripping on your hand. Now see yourself taking a bite of the orange and feel the juice squirting into your mouth. Many people salivate when they do this, demonstrating how your body responds to what you are imagining.

Now try this imagery. Close your eyes and imagine you are at your favorite place. Picture the place as much in detail as possible. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings you have when you’re there. Let your body and mind respond as if you were really there. Your thoughts will be calmed, your muscles will relax, and a feeling of letting go will come over you. What a trip!

Guided imagery is an instant stress reliever that can be done almost anywhere. Use it to take you back to a favorite vacation spot or any place you enjoy being, and let the respite begin.

Although guided imagery is safe, it should never be done while operating a vehicle or in any other situation where your total attention is required. Guided imagery is most effective when taught by a person trained in guided imagery techniques.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect.
Visit Carol’s website at

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Use Your Sense to Reduce Stress

Please your senses first. What you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch make a difference in your stress level. The following are general examples of how to please your senses to reduce stress.

Sight — Why do we go on vacation? Usually it’s because we need to relax and see something new or different. Most of us live in crowded cities where our neighbor is within an arm’s reach. We are surrounded by buildings or freeways — not a pretty sight. To please your sight, go find something beautiful — a beach, the mountains, or maybe a forest and enjoy the view.

Hearing — Quiet the outside noises and plug in a relaxing tune. Music is soothing, especially instrumental sounds that induce relaxation. There are several CDs and DVDs available that offer nature sounds to quiet the soul.

Taste — When you have a meal, do simply that: have the meal. Turn off the television, hang up the phone, stop working, and focus only on the taste of the food you’re eating. You will enjoy your food much more if you pay attention to the enjoyment of the food rather than multitasking over your dinner plate.

Smell — Burn scented candles. As noted before, aromatherapy scents are known to relax you. Try peppermint oil or other essential oil scents. Spray a scented air freshener in your car. Try a “new car” scent to give you that same feeling you had when you first bought your new car.

Touch — There are many ways to please your sense of touch. Give or receive a massage. Pet your cat or dog. Hug somebody you love. Hold a baby — babies are soft and fresh and can help relax your body.

It’s only natural to use your senses to reduce stress.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect. Visit Carol’s website at