The question of how to relieve tension is as important as ever in today's ever-increasingly hectic world. There are many different techniques that can be used, each with their pros and cons, but today we are going to talk about a way of relieving tension that anybody can use anywhere, anytime, and it doesn't require any special equipment. What we are talking about is using your imagination to melt away tension and stress.
Guided imagery is any technique that uses a plan of some kind to help you imagine something to lead you to a state of relaxation. There are online audios, CDs, tapes, MP3 files, written scripts to get you started, or you can develop your own by ad-libbing or from memory. How you go about it isn't all that important. In other words, it's not the journey that counts, it's the destination. In this case your destination is lower stress.
You begin a guided imagery session by choosing a quiet and comfortable place where you will be free of distractions for the duration of your session. Do a few deep breathing exercises to relieve some of your built-up tension. Now you're ready to start the guided imagery itself.
Think of a calm and peaceful place that makes you feel completely relaxed; such as a secluded beach, a quiet stream in the middle of sun-dappled woods, or even a distant planet in another galaxy if you prefer. (If you are using something pre-recorded, then this part is already done for you). The main thing is that you choose a scene that causes no stress or anxiety.
One you have the scene in mind, you go deeper and deeper into it by imagining more details as you go. Let's say you picture being on a secluded beach. You would start by seeing the sun in the sky and listening to the surf rolling in. Next, you imagine some palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze, and how that breeze feels on your face (notice how your hair feels as it moves?). What about the warm sand as each grain works a microscopic massage on your feet? You not only hear the waves, but you also feel the slightest hint of sea mist every so often. Every detail has more depth and it puts you more into the scene.
Each new layer of detail you add is a whole new lesson in how to relieve tension. The reason this method is so good at removing stress is that it requires deeper and deeper focus on something that you find pleasurable. They say the mind has unlimited potential, and this is only one small example of just how true that is.
You will get the most benefits from doing full sessions of guided imagery, but you can also make brief returns to your favorite scene whenever you sense stress is starting to build up. How to relieve tension is as simple as trying simple techniques like guided imagery, so go ahead and give it a try and see how much better you feel afterwards.