One of the simplest and most powerful ways to learn to relax is through the "peaceful place" imagery:
Imagine yourself in some setting in nature - perhaps high in the mountains, or on a beach, near a lake, or in a desert. Find yourself walking along a path in this setting. Notice what the sky looks like, how the air smells, what the ground feels like beneath your feet as you walk. With each step along your path allow yourself to grow more and more relaxed.
As you look ahead, you see a little cottage. It's there just for you. Walk up to this cottage. What does it look like and what is it made of? Go inside and walk around your cabin. Decorate your perfect cabin to your own taste... with your own art work. Everything about this place is peaceful. If you like lots of sunlight, imagine that your cabin has lots of windows with an incredible view.
Sit down in a comfortable chair in your cottage and soak in the relaxation. This is your place... a million miles from nowhere - if that's where you want it to be.
Of course, if the word "cottage" or "cabin" does not suit you, call your dwelling whatever you like.
(Use your five senses when you are at your special place.)
Do you get so rushed and so stressed out at work that you don't feel you have the luxury of relaxing? You don't have the luxury of a break to let go of stress? The "Wave Imagery" innovated by Phyllis Crystal was designed for you. It is not a long, drawn out process. Once you learn how to "ride" the wave, you can teach yourself to relax in just a minute.
Imagine you are at the beach, lying on the warm sand. The waves are rolling in and each one comes closer and closer to you... until the waves are starting to wash over your body before they roll back out. As each wave falls away from you and returns to the sea, tension, anxiety and stress are removed in the process. With each wave you feel a little more relaxed. Just feel the wave gently pulling tension out of you.
Of course, you adjust the power of the wave. And if you don't like inhaling seawater, just allow the waves to come up to your neckand no higher
Imagine you are a feather floating in the air high above the earth. You become more and more relaxed as you slowly float downward through the air. You finally glide to the ground... gently and softly touching down. Lying on the ground, you are totally and completely relaxed.
Imagine a clock with only one hand. When the hand is at 12:00 high, it represents the most intense stress you have ever experienced. It's electrocution time with every hair of your body standing on end. When the hand is at 6:00, it represents no stress whatsoever. You're just floating in a tank of jello, or you're a wet, limp noodle lying on the floor.
Now get in touch with the level of stress you are under right this second, and set the pointer appropriately. Now inhale a deep breath, and as you exhale, imagine the pointer moving down toward 6:00. As you continue to exhale, drop your shoulders, and let go.
If necessary, reset the pointer, repeat the breath, and let the pointer sink down even further toward 6:00.