Guided Imagery – Improve Well-Being, Health, and Mood – includes a free patient information PDF!

Download the free patient handout PDF near the end of this article!

sun sky and grassGuided Imagery is the use of relaxation, visualization, and imagination to improve well-being, health, and mood. It can be done alone or with a therapist, CD, or video.

Dr. Martin Rossman (an expert in healing stress and anxiety) says, in his article about Guided Imagery, “you can worry yourself sick or think yourself well”. Below are instructions on how to do Guided Imagery.

  1. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down and become relaxed. Be sure you are comfortable. You can use the Deep Breathing or Tense & Relax Methods to become more relaxed. You can use the instructions on the back of this page to learn how to breathe more deeply.
  2. Clear all thoughts out of your mind and begin to imagine something. You can imagine any one of the following, or come up with your own image:
    • Imagine your favorite place (real or imaginary) or a place you would like to go to, like a peaceful lake, a sunny beach, or a beautiful mountain area.
    • Imagine that your pain or discomfort is an electric current and you can turn it off by turning off the switch.
    • You can print copies of this PDF handout for your patients, to reinforce what you have told them.
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    • Imagine any pain you have can dissolve into a cloud and it can float away.
    • Imagine having a conversation with your pain or disease; pretend your pain or disease can talk and imagine what it would say and what you could say back.
    • Imagine you can feel clean water flowing though you cleansing out all the pain and discomfort.
    • Imagine you are a flower or the sun and you can feel your petals or rays flowing in the air.
    • Imagine you find a key and then a door that enters a room where you can leave all your pain and discomfort.

Whatever you choose to imagine, try to imagine it with all your senses. How warm or cold is it? What do you smell? If you could imagine touching something, how would it feel? What sounds do you hear in your image? What colors do you see?

Don’t worry, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Just relax and use your imagination for at least 10 to 20 minutes.

Used with permission from the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS)