Healthier Living Using Guided Imagery & Other Mind/Body Skills
Imagine yourself in beautiful natural area that feels calm and spacious. See yourself sitting comfortably. Let the muscles of your face soften. Visualize an easy smile on your face that generates a warm wave of contentment through out your entire body. Fill your lungs fully with air as you allow this image to linger in your mind’s eye. Enjoy a complete exhalation with a sigh.
Simple mental exercises like this guided visual imagery are psychological tools that encourage a positive outlook. A growing number of scientific studies show that mental images produce physiological changes in
our bodies. Mental pictures can be used for relaxation as well as performance enhancement. For decades professional athletes have significantly improved their competitive performances using visualization techniques. These skills are easy to learn and once acquired can be used virtually anywhere and at anytime.
As a clinical psychologist with a dance background, I have developed the BRAVE method that blends Breathing techniques, Relaxation training, Aligning the body, Visualization and Energizing skills. In my Psychological Techniques class at Montclair State University I teach dance majors a variety of ways to enhance their dance performance using these methods. It is not necessary to be a performing artist or professional athlete to benefit from these proven methods.
Mental skills like physical skills improve with practice. Initially, some people struggle to form images in their minds. Like going to the gym when our bodies are out of shape, mental skills may be weak and ineffective at the start of training. With consistent effort and good coaching, images become clearer and may generate more positive influences in our lives. Try practicing mental imaging for 5 – 10 minutes before bedtime. Creating positive images while breathing slowly and evenly is a nice simple way to end a long hectic day as you prepare for a restful sleep.
Harlene Goldschmidt, PhD. is a clinical psychologist with 20 years of psychotherapy experience working with children, teens, adults and couples. She works with dancers at the Juilliard School and gives workshop
at St. Lukes hospital in NYC. Dr. Goldschmidt has a private practice in Livingston and consults at Universal Institute For Rehabilitation and Fitness.
For more information contact Dr. Goldschmidt at 973-533-9600 or GoldPhD@aol.com
Previous Seminar Series include:
Livings Comfortably in Your Own Body:Mind/Body Skills for Health and
Happiness & Following Your Dreams: Healthier Living Through Meditation and