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How to Use Visualization to Reduce Stress Levels and Boost Self-Confidence and Career Prospects

By John J. Gregg

Exploring the different types of visualization techniques and how this may benefit those suffering from stress-related health conditions.

With today's hectic pace of life, most people have been affected by stress-related health problems at some point or another. While there are many benefits associated with mainstream forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, interpersonal therapy, cognitive analytic therapy) and medication, a whole range of different self-help techniques may also help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Alternative treatments for stress, anxiety, and depression management may include the following: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation, body scanning as well as visualization.

What is Visualization?


Visualization techniques simply require the use of one's imagination and ideally a quiet place to be alone. The belief that the mind is capable of imagining oneself into a state of relaxation and that positive thinking can help reduce physical and mental symptoms was introduced by a French pharmacist, Emil Coute.

Coute found that when his patients, many of whom were suffering from tuberculosis and hemorrhages, would focus on their illness the symptoms would often appear to worsen. As a result, Coutee used to recommend that his patients repeat each day the phrase, "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better."

In addition to getting his patients to recite positive affirmations, Coutee also encouraged them to practice muscle relaxation whilst introducing the idea into their minds that they would be more relaxed the following day, as a means of using the unconscious. Many years later, both Jung and Gestalt introduced techniques to reduce anxiety and stress through the use of one's imagination.

Types of Visualization For Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Visualization includes things common to everyone such as daydreaming, remembering memories, and inner talk. Forms of visualization techniques used to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, including receptive visualization, programmed visualization, and guided visualization.

To achieve effective visualization all that is required is to lie down in a quiet space with eyes closed and scan through the body looking for any tension and relaxing any tensed muscles. Next, use as many senses as possible to imagine a peaceful scene such as walking through a forest, listening to birds, feeling a cool breeze on one's face, smelling the pine, and feeling the ground beneath.

Positive affirmations which are statements in the present such as 'I am relaxed' or 'I am calm and peaceful' will also help to reduce feelings of stressanxiety, and depression.

Key Benefits of Visualization Techniques

The main benefit of using one's imagination to do visualization techniques is that it helps the body and mind to relax thus being an effective means of reducing symptoms of stress-related health conditions. There is also much evidence that indicates if one regularly practices visualization techniques one will also have an increased feeling of emotional and physical well-being.

Another benefit of this approach is that unlike many other forms of alternative treatments, it is free and all that is required is a quiet space and an open mind.

Boost Self-Confidence and Career Prospects

Visualizing and meditation techniques for holistic healing and relief of chronic pain symptoms and illness.

Visualization is the act of creating imagined surroundings or situations that would improve a person’s spiritual well-being or mental or physical health. The act of reading a book or magazine, or watching television helps a person to imagine a scenario or to visit a place not normally possible during everyday life. Visualizing such places offers an escape from an often static reality, and it can sometimes offer relaxation and energy healing to a person in need.

Visualization and Meditation

Use visualization is helpful if the subject is in a meditative state. By engaging in the use of deep breathing exercises and sitting or lying in a comfortable, relaxed position, the subject’s body will be more receptive to the process. The person will then open their mind to the possibilities that they imagine or that they would like to see happening in reality. By seeing a picture of something it becomes more real to the human mind and is perceived as a possible form of reality rather than a flight of the imagination.

Meditation is used to quiet and calm the mind so a person is open to new ideas or thought processes, and can then visualize them. Some people use meditation simply as a method of relieving everyday stress, particularly if they work at a job that requires a lot of serious thought and carries a weight of responsibility. By meditating and visualizing a calm, peaceful ocean, for example, the human mind can be lulled into a sense of peace and relaxation. The use of deep breathing techniques is believed to help focus the mind on a goal, whether that is a specific career or social aspiration, or simply the requirement to relax and release any negative energy absorbed during the daily routine.

Visualization and the Medical Profession

In recent years people from the medical profession have begun to investigate the possibilities of using visualization techniques as a form of therapy. This has proved popular for sports athletes, footballers, golfers, and others who deal with physical and mental exertion regularly. Indeed there is a growing trend for the study of Sports Psychology and it is believed to be growing in popularity as a learning subject in colleges and higher education authorities.

Leading on from this the use of visualization has been developed as a method for healing the human body. It is believed to have entered the field of modern medicine during the late twentieth century and seems to be growing in popularity as people make informed choices about their physical and mental health. The idea of holistic healing seems to be very effective, especially during contemporary life where people suffer from stress and anxiety-related illnesses.

Using visualization methods, and learning from current holistic healers, people are developing their systems for healing the body. By training the conscious mind to relax and allowing the subconscious mind to assert itself, people begin to actively see their bodies as healthy and they feel better and happier for it. Medical doctors can treat symptoms of illness using medicated drugs and technology, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the human body and its mind to heal from the inside out.

Visualization and Spiritual Wellbeing

By engaging in meditation and visualization exercises people may open their minds to new horizons and beliefs. Some people have reported sensations of being engulfed in bright white light during meditation rituals, and then they report feeling sensations of cleansing and healing. In some extreme cases, people such as spiritual mediums and psychics have reportedly communicated with deceased loved ones and angels during visualization rituals.

Some mediums and psychics have used these angels and white lights as tools for their healing techniques. They will develop a visualization ritual for a patient or client, and then direct the healing energy to the person while they are imagining the warmth and vitality from this light. The patient or client will then visualize this warm, healing energy around the part of their body that is in pain or is damaged, and they will imagine it to be healing. Over some time some of these patients have agreed that they feel better or that they managed to remove the illness that was afflicting them.

Visualization is a proven Medical Technique

Visualization as a healing energy technique is still widely debated by medical professionals. Some will agree that it does help and is a very useful and valuable tool. Others will staunchly disagree and believe that it has a placebo effect on patients. That is, these people will believe visualization to be healing their bodies if all other medical treatments have failed or only had short-term effects. Yet if this is the case, surely visualization must be working on some level. Ultimately it is the choice of the person whether to use these modern techniques or not.

About the Author

John J. Gregg is an experienced writer at essay writing service where he provides students with an opportunity to get high grades. Besides, He is fond of reading and playing the guitar. By the way, John dreams of traveling a lot and visiting as many countries as possible.

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