Visualization is the Swiss-army knife of the self-help industry. Performers use it to hone their craft. Trauma victims use it to heal. And people interested in becoming the best version of themselves use it to gain social confidence, change deep-seated beliefs, and improve health outcomes. Guided visualizations help stoke the creative power inherent to this process. This particular guided visualization focuses on freedom from stress featuring themes of oxygen, deep breathing, and detachment. Shallow breathing is one the first physical manifestations of stress. And deep, mindful breathing is one of the quickest ways to reverse it.
This is the first guided meditation I have ever written and possibly the last. I admittedly felt out of element in the process, but I got enough out of it myself that I wanted to share it with you all. The thematic inspiration came from an audio track entitled Weightless. Weightless was tailor-made to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and heart rate. I like one author’s description: [Weightless] is filled with dreamy, mellow synths, soothing melodies and instrumentation composed of piano, guitar and electronic samples of natural soundscapes (link). In one study, listening to the song resulted in a 65% reduction in overall anxiety and a 35% reduction in physiological resting rates (link).
Below you can find the YouTube audio track to Weightless and a recording of the visualization supplied by my friend Elizabeth. Enjoy.
I Am Weightless (Guided Visualization to Promote Relaxation)
Imagine yourself from a distance standing outside your home. You look around you, mindful of the sounds, shapes, and textures of the neighborhood. Memories from childhood insinuate themselves. You are in a familiar place.
Again visualize yourself from a distance. Weightless, like a shadow, in that same location. All of your internal organs and systems are intact, but together they weigh less than a gram. You take a deep breath. As you breathe in, your entire body fills with air.
You take another deep breath. As you breathe in this second time, your feet slowly leave the ground. As the embodied you rises, your mental plane rises with it. You watch yourself ascend like a balloon until you are floating thousands of feet in the air. You remain elevated with deep breaths at natural intervals.
To your left and right, you can see ethereal clouds gliding through the atmosphere. Some slightly beneath you, others on your side. You feel a gentle wind lightly grace your body. With quiet focus, you can hear the still penetrating sound of nature.
Above you lies empty blue space, impenetrable and encompassing. Like an ocean devoid of all living things.
Beneath you lies the world you inhabited until this point. Once familiar in appearance, now barely visible to the eye. The home you grew up in is a deck of cards. The culdesac you used to ride your bike in is a horseshoe. And the city you love is a canvas you scribbled on in elementary.
In the present moment, you experience freedom. Freedom from physical weight. Freedom from environmental triggers. Freedom from the worries of a grounded existence. You breathe in deeply once more. You can feel oxygen circulating in the innermost part of your being.
Now you are in the place you want to be.