6 tips for using your imagination to help you heal through guided imagery

Guided Imagery is a tool that helps your body by letting your mind take you to healthy places that feel good. It uses your imagination to change your thoughts by focusing on your senses (sound, vision, smell, taste, touch, movement). Guided imagery can be used to help with pain, sleep, nausea, anxiety, anger and fatigue.

What do I need to start?

You need your brain and your imagination. Other things that might help are a favorite memory or pictures of things you like doing or places you wish you could visit; a favorite smell or scent; or a CD with a visualization or imagery script.

How can I do it?

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Take 3-5 deep belly breaths
  3. It’s time to imagine you are going to your special place. Where would you like to go? If you could be anywhere in the world at this moment, where would you be?
  4. When you have picked out a place, picture yourself there. Through your mind, you can be at this place as if this were really happening.
  5. Use your daydreaming skills and think about every little thing that makes this place and experience just as you like it. What do you see, taste, touch, hear and smell?
  6. Focus on how comfortable your body feels when you imagine yourself in this place. Your breathing may slow down and your muscles may feel looser as your entire body starts to relax.

More Tips:

  • Using a special scent before or during the imagery activity can help you to feel even more comfortable and relaxed.
  • Sometimes people find it difficult to do this activity on their own. If this is the case for you, you may be able to use a photograph or a picture from a book or the computer to help jump start your imagination. It may be helpful to have someone lead you through this activity. Or maybe you already have a CD that describes a special, relaxing place to you. You can listen to this CD and use it to help your mind picture yourself there.

Want to Try It?

Listen to our pediatric psychologists as they guide you through scenarios to help you feel better.