This visualization can be enjoyed just about anywhere. It will help you recreate in your mind a day by the sea and, hopefully, reap some of the relaxation benefits of actually being there.
Most of us are familiar with meditation, but fewer of us with visualization. Yet it can be a powerful tool to aid relaxation, improve sleep and engender a sense of wellbeing. The idea with meditation is to give the body and mind a deep rest – doing less will help you achieve more. Visualization is more active: you guide your thoughts to visualize a scenario and use your imagination to have a five-sensory experience.
1. Gather together any items you may have that remind you of the sea – seashells, beach pebbles, sea glass, a small pot of beach sand collected on a previous visit – and spend a few minutes examining them. A recording of ocean sounds can also be a great help, but don’t worry if you
don’t have any of these things. Just sit quietly in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
2. Take a few long, slow breaths. Let all other thoughts float away as you concentrate on your breathing. Feel the cool air coming in and the warm air going out. Don’t try to change your breathing – just notice it.
3. Now mentally check your body to feel if any of your muscles are tense, paying particularattention to your face and tongue. Let all the tension melt away as you breathe in and out. Feel yourself becoming more and more comfortable and relaxed.
4. Visualize the ocean itself in your mind’s eye. Allow all of your senses to participate in your mental journey:
– Feel the cool spray of sea mist on your face.
– Hear the sea’s rhythmic roar as the waves come
– Smell the briny tang of the ocean in the air.
– Watch the sun playing over the ocean’s surface,
creating shifting patches of vivid blues and greens. See the swell of the waves.
– Taste the salt on your lips.
5. Spend a few minutes drinking in the beauty of the vast ocean, stretching as far as the horizon, and allow feelings of awe to wash over you.
6. Once you are fully engaged with the setting, visualize yourself standing on the beach facing the ocean. Feel the tiny grains of soft sand under your toes and the breeze on your face. As the sun warms your back, a soothing sensation of relaxation melts through your whole body. Watch the waves as they form, break on the shore, then retreat. Hear the hypnotic sound as they break and retreat…break and retreat. The rhythmic sound calms your mind.
7. Imagine yourself stepping forward, the sand yielding a little beneath your feet and getting cooler as you approach the water. You hear the distant cries of a seagull overhead. A wave breaks over your feet. Feel the cool and refreshing water envelope your toes and ankles, the tickle of sand moving beneath your soles. Remain there feeling the waves gently and rhythmically breaking over your feet for as long as you like.
8. When you are ready, bring your attention back to your breathing and become aware of your body once again.
More Blue Health practices in Dr Deborah Cracknell’s By The Sea