Simply put, Transformational Guided Imagery is the process of forming mental images; it is the primary component of the imagination.
Visualization is at the core of the human ability to create, innovate and dream.
Many of history's inventors and artists attribute their success to an exceptional ability to visualize. Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Henry Ford, and the great composer, Chopin all reported using guided imagery to spark their imaginations. Additionally, Albert Einstein once said he came up with the theory of relativity by imagining what would happen if he could travel through space on the tip of a light beam.
Transformational Guided Imagery can transport you out of a state of stress or fear, and into a new space of inner calm, peace and tranquility. Additionally, a natural byproduct of TGI occurs when the body goes loose and limp, creating the relaxation response - the perfect state for learning and focusing on goals.
Visualization has long been the primary tool for mind/body support. From a scientific perspective, we know, that because visualization directly impacts the body's neurological system, it can have a direct influence on us physically.
Try this for an example: Imagine I have just handed you a large, yellow, juice-filled lemon. You slice the lemon into quarters and bring one of the quarters to your mouth and bite into it . . . what happened? Did your mouth begin to pucker? Did it fill with saliva? This is a naturally occurring neurological response to an imagined thought.
Have you ever watched a horror film, and, in the midst of the excitement, found your palms sweating and your heart pounding? You knew it was "just a movie," right?
If your mind can cause this kind of impact on your body, is there any reason it can't relax your muscles, overpower nicotine, stimulate your metabolism, or even do away with chronic pain?
Why Use TGI and Guided Relaxation Together?
We all have an inner critic, a part of our mind which, based on past experience, rejects unfamiliar information without proper evaluation. This is known as the critical factor. Studies show that relaxation techniques subdue this critical factor, making you receptive to new ideas. Even though it may seem counterintuitive to "let go in order to gain control," this is exactly what happens during the relaxation response.
Through our visualization techniques, you experience positive and appropriate ways to imagine your personal goals. This helps you remain optimistic and motivated toward changes that bring about your success.
TGI Provides the Missing Link to Wellness
Recent research shows excessive stress can suppress the immune system. Therefore, it's vital to incorporate a program of stress reduction and relaxation into your everyday routine. By reducing anxiety and stress, and increasing relaxation, you can boost your immune system and use your own unlimited resources to improve your life.
But don't think TGI is only a nice, relaxing daydream. People who regularly relax with TGI processes enjoy a number of side-benefits. These may include:
- Increased blood flow to the brain, resulting in clearer thinking, better concentration, improved memory and enhanced creativity
- Serotonin can increase, which calms the mind and body and creates an overall sense of wellbeing
- Endorphins can increase, these are the hormones that flow through your body when you feel happy
- Better sleep patterns. Twenty minutes of TGI can be equivalent to 2-3 hours of sleep, so you may find yourself sleeping less, feeling more rested, accomplishing more, and finding extra enjoyment in life
- Soaring energy levels
- More fulfilling relationships
- Improved career satisfaction
- A clearer sense of purpose
- And last, but certainly not least, a seemingly effortless ability to manage stress