Imagery is undoubtedly already a part of your everyday life. If you ever worry about the future, reminisce about the past, have sexual fantasies, or make plans, you use imagery whether you know it or not — you represent these things in some way to yourself internally — and that’s imagery!
Marty Rossman, MD has been interested in how we can use our minds to best support our good health for over 40 years. His PBS special entitled The Healing Mind is currently airing all over the country. He is the Award-winning author of Guided Imagery for Self-Healing, Fighting Cancer from Within, The Worry Solution, and 15 medical textbook chapters on mind/body healing.
Editor: Nadeem Noor
The question really is: How can you use imagery purposefully to attain the peacefulness, enjoyment, and fulfillment you desire? The answer is to learn more about your imagination — how it works, and how to use it to accomplish what you want to accomplish.
Start with the materials here and experiment and practice. Learning to use your imagination well is like learning to do most things in life — it takes practice. Audio aids are a great help to guide you through a variety of imagery experiences for various purposes — whether relaxation, peace of mind, setting goals, planning, or dealing with illness or life crisis.
If you are in a hurry, dealing with a difficult situation, or want to learn in the most efficient way, consult with a psychotherapist who can help make sure you master the process in the least time. As with learning anything else, good coaching helps.
Once you familiarize yourself with using imagery, you may want to experiment with the best way to use it in the course of your day. Many people set aside about 20 minutes, one or two times a day, to formally relax and focus on using imagery to support their chosen goal, whether it be relaxation, healing, problem-solving, or imagery rehearsal of a plan. Others focus on it before falling asleep, or first thing in the morning. Others simply use their imagery as a type of affirmation, thinking of it briefly but frequently throughout the day, especially when they need the qualities it evokes in them. You can combine these methods, or move between them — like any other set of tools, imagery can be used for many purposes and in many ways. Your opportunity is to learn how to use this marvelous faculty and then adapt it to your own purposes and goals.