Visualisations allow you to switch off from the stresses of everyday life and go to a calming place where you can de-stress and relax.
Spend at least 5 minutes on each visualisation, engaging in practice twice a day. Once you are confident in your practice, you can use visualisations whenever you feel the need to relax.
Before you begin any visualisation, spend a few minutes focusing on your breath. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold your breath for 4 seconds and then exhale for a count of 8. Repeat this several times until you feel in a relaxed state. Let your eyes close and use one of the suggestions below to melt away your stress. Once you have completed the visualisation, open your eyes and take a moment to come back before you continue with your day.
Walking in the clouds
Imagine your body is weightless and that you are floating slowly up into the blue sky. As you move further away from the ground, you begin to float past the clouds. The ground below you gradually disappears until the clouds surround you and they are all you can see.
Climbing the Ladder
Begin taking steps up the ladder. Looking up, it seems to go on forever, disappearing at a point somewhere far into the distance. Keep climbing the ladder until you can no longer see the ground.
The Golden Thread
Imagine you are holding a ball of golden (or your favourite colour) thread. It glints in the sunlight. The end of the thread is floating off in the distance, and as you begin to wind the yarn, you are pulled by it through the blue sky.
For any of the visualisations above, you could eventually find yourself here. Visualise a quiet and relaxing place that feels restful, calming and safe. This could be a deserted beach or next to the fireplace in a log cabin. Engage your senses and notice how it feels, looks and smells.
Imagine you are sitting on a serene and deserted beach. Notice the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore. Feel the light breeze as it touches your face. Become aware of the warm sun on your skin.
Visualise a vast lake. You might be sat on the edge of the lake, or be in a boat in the middle, but whichever way you look, you can only just make out the edge in the distance. Notice the mist, fresh on your face. Hear the gentle waves lapping the side of your boat or the shore. Become aware of the wildlife; perhaps birds calling in the distance.
Inhale deeply and when you exhale imagine your breath becoming bubbles. When you first breathe out, the bubbles will be large and then get smaller towards the end of your breath. Extend the breath to push them further away from you. Notice how they float in the air and visualise them until they disappear into the distance.
Take a deep breath in and when you exhale imagine that your breath is silver. The silver thread will extend further into the distance, the deeper you breathe. As you inhale, the silver thread will return towards you.