It’s that time of year when the buzz words of gratitude and gifts circulate. We strive to be grateful for the things we have and show gratitude for the things we receive. It is also a time when we wait with excitement to see what gifts we will receive, and the reaction of those we love when they open their gifts. Just as important as gratitude and gifts during the holiday season we should also introduce the idea of guided imagery. What is that? What could it possibly have to do with the Holiday Season?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, guided imagery is “any of various techniques (as a series of verbal suggestions) used to guide another person or oneself in imagining sensations and especially in visualizing an image in the mind to bring about a desired physical response. It is often times used a tool to reduce stress, anxiety and pain.
The Holiday Season is a time for family, friends, joy, peace, gratitude, love, sharing, caring and giving. However, it can also be a time of stress, anxiety, remembering a lost loved one, arguments, pain, exhaustion, regret and financial challenges. Therefore, what better time than the Holiday Season to understand what guided imagery is and to utilize it?
Ohio State University’s Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center states that “guided imagery practices can help patients relax, improve sleep, prepare for surgery, experience greater clarity, compassion and gratitude and feel more calm, confident and comfortable. The Center offers the following free guided imagery recordings in the following topics for practice of guided imagery.
- Accessing Inner Intuition and Wisdom
- Autogenic Training
- Breathing Deeply for Relaxation and Stress Relief
- Comfort in the Face of Grief and Loss
- Easing Pain
- Prepare for
- Prepare for Surgery
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Relaxation for Children
- Relaxation Imagery with a Pool of Light
- Safe Place
- Skill Master
- Sleeping Deeply, Easily, Restfully
During the Holiday Season, please take time for YOU and listen to a “guided imagery exercise to promote your health and well-being. So, close your eyes and remember, all you have to do is breathe”.
“Like snowflakes, the human pattern is never cast twice. We are uncommonly and marvelously intricate in thought and action, our problems are most complex and, too often, silently borne”.
– Alice Childress
Written by: Janet Wasko Myers, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, O
hio State University Extension, Clark County, email@example.com
The Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Improving Your Health Through Stress Reduction. http://wexnermedical.osu.edu/patient-care/healthcare-services/improving-your-health-through-stress-reduction
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Mindfulness Practices – Mindfulness practices can reduce anxiety, chronic pain, depression, insomnia and stress. http://go.osu.edu/wexnermindful