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Using Visual Imagery to Reduce Stress

written by: Marina Hanes • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 6/28/2011

Visual imagery can be an effective method for managing your daily stress. Depending on what technique you use, you can do it while your working at the office. Even if you have a hard time thinking of something creative, you can still benefit from visual imagery in other ways.

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    When to Use Visual Imagery

    Do you stare at the ceiling or a picture on the wall when you visit your dentist or doctor? If you do then you’re already using visual imagery to help you deal with your stress, and you probably didn’t even realize it. Visual imagery provides a place for you to focus your mind and almost escape from reality to hash out problems. It’s easy to use every day, and it can help you manage your stress.

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    Mandalas originated in the Buddhist religion, and they are intricate works of art, which can display peaceful deities, wrathful deities and sexual imagery. These complex works contain deep symbolism and are regarded as sacred. For example, ones with sexual imagery are often used to symbolize enlightenment. People who meditate sometimes use the geometric symmetry of these artworks to focus their energy and mind. Hanging one of these pieces in a quiet room of your home can give you the visual imagery you need to help reduce stress.

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    Golden Light

    Another way to create visual imagery is to imagine it in your head. If you have a job that doesn’t tap your creativity, it can be a refreshing experience to conjure up a relaxation technique. An example would be to imagine yourself breathing in a golden light that fills up your body. Then imagine yourself blowing out a dark colored light. The gold light will symbolize healing while the dark light will symbolize your stress and tension.

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    Even if you can get outside for a moment, this can help calm your nerves. Sometimes looking at the larger aspect of the universe can enable you to put your priorities in a more practical order. Seeing the warming sun and blue sky can sometimes be enough to relax you, and laying down in the grass for a few minutes can give you time to center yourself again.

    Visual imagery is effective when you tailor it to your needs. Maybe you don’t need a physical sign of visual imagery since you lean on your imagination. As long as you reach a place of calm, peace and happiness, you have learned how to benefit from visual imagery. These techniques can be used any time of the day, and when you incorporate them into your daily schedule, you will see the most benefits.

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