The goal of this technique is to “take yourself away” from stress and picture yourself in a more relaxed, calm situation.
Steps to imagine a peaceful scene (Glynn et al., 2014, pp. 126–128):
1. Choose a scene that you find peaceful, calm and restful. If you have trouble thinking of a scene, here are some suggestions:
at the beach
on a walk in the woods
on a park bench
on a mountain path
in a canoe or sailboat
in a meadow
travelling on a train
in a cabin
beside a river
next to a waterfall
in a high rise apartment overlooking a large city
riding a bicycle
on a farm.
2. After choosing a peaceful scene, imagine as many details as possible, using all your senses. Consider the following questions:
What does the scene look like? What are the colours? Is it light or dark? What shapes are in the scene? If it’s a nature scene, what kinds of trees or flowers do you see? What animals? If it’s a city scene, what kind of buildings?
What kind of vehicles?
What sounds are in your peaceful scene? Can you hear water or the sounds of waves? Are there sounds from animals or birds? From the breeze? From people?
What could you feel with your sense of touch? Are there textures? Is it cool or warm? Can you feel a breeze?
What smells are there in your peaceful scene? Could you smell flowers? The smell of the ocean? The smell of food cooking?
3. Disregard any stressful thoughts and keep your attention on the peaceful scene.
4. Give yourself at least five minutes for this relaxation technique.