Daily Challenge Tuesday Nov. 09, 2010

Everyday Well-Being

Visualize a place that's beautiful to you.

How to do it

Sit down or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Take a few slow, deep breaths. Then picture yourself in a place where you feel peaceful, relaxed, comfortable, and surrounded by beauty -- like the beach in Waikiki, an enchanted garden, or a Swiss alpine meadow. Notice all the details of this place, including sounds, smells, and temperature. Relax and enjoy your surroundings. When you're ready, imagine that you slowly leave your peaceful spot. Remember the details so that you can return to that place whenever you wish.

Why it matters

The human body has its own natural relaxation response, a state of deep restfulness that's a natural antidote to and the polar opposite of the stress response. You can activate your body's relaxation response by engaging in activities that are pleasurable and calming to you like reading a good book, writing in a journal, or engaging in hobbies. But you can also engage in techniques that evoke the body's relaxation response and can be used for stress relief like deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, and massage therapy. Imagining yourself in a peaceful setting is a relaxation technique known as "visualization," or "guided imagery," that can be effective in relieving stress.

Fun fact

The Everly Brothers song, "All I Have to Do is Dream," was one of the biggest hits of 1957.


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