In a recent article for the Huffington Post’s Healthy Living blog, physician Dr. Bruce Rabin discusses using guided meditation and guided imagery for stress. Both techniques can be used to lessen the effects of chronic stress, which arises when daily events continually trigger the stress acrivated areas of the brain and flood the body with stress hormones. Guided imagery and guided meditation can help calm these areas of the brain and improve overall health by reducing the effects of stress.
Guided imagery is a technique designed to take the mind to a place that is calming and relaxing. Listening as a narrator reads an imagery script, participants in guided imagery are encouraged to set aside distressing thoughts. Frequent use of guided imagery programs will enhance their effect. Dr. Rabin says “if you listen often when you are calm and happy, then think about it when you are upset, your brain will quickly take you back to a state of calmness.”
Meditation is similar to guided imagery, but instead of being lead to focus on an image or place, the focus is on re-directing the mind away from the things that are causing stress. Dr. Rabin suggests focusing on a neutral word or phrase. With practice, meditation takes the brain into a deeply relaxed state which will reduce the body’s levels of stress hormones.
Read the entire article here.
Download guided imagery for stress here.