Visualisation is a technique that not only helps sports people succeed but if done creatively can help to alleviate stress and encourage relaxation.
Over the past few months I have listened to some guided meditations which have been excellent; soothing, relaxing and calming. Others however can really grate on you and are not soothing, relaxing or calming at all. We all have the power to think creatively and to control our thoughts so that they focus on positive outcomes rather than negative ones. You can record your own favourite images to listen to later, first writing them down then reading them out loud, slowly, clearly and softly. If you don’t like the sound of your own voice, ask a friend to record it for you.
Here is a visualisation which I came across recently when reading Mike George’s book ” Learn to relax” and which you can enhance with your own images. Once recorded, get comfortable, close your eyes and listen.
An imaginary balloon ride
1. You are walking along a country lane. The sun beats down on your head and shoulders. To your left is a beautiful forest; to your right, a field into which you turn. Ahead of you is a hot-air balloon ready for flight.
2. You approach the balloon and step into the basket. the balloon begins to rise very slowly. as you look down, you can see a village, a lake, some mountains. When you look at the sky, you see a bird glide past you. there is absolutely no noise. Silently you rise higher and higher.
3. Beneath you everything becomes a swirl of blue and green. You can see no borders or boundaries, just one world as you have never fully realised before. As you understand this, the balloon begins its descent.
4. The details gradually return into view and the balloon comes to rest in the middle of the field. You step out of the basket, walk down the path through the village to the lake that you could see from the air. the water on the lake is still and calm. Just how you feel yourself.