This activity leads students through the process of using visual imagery in dealing with stress, enabling them to cope both on the job and in everyday life.
Learner Needs & Goals:
Learning Activity Description:
(2) The instructor teaches visual imagery as a relaxation technique. Students may sit or stand for this exercise, as they wish. Have the class members follow these suggestions as the instructor gives them. Use a calm, low modulated voice and give ample time between each visual suggestion for the class members to "ease" into the vision.
Close your eyes. "See" in your mind's eye a beautiful mountain meadow at the top of a high plateau. The sun is shining warmly, and snow glistens brightly on the top of the peak. The meadow ends at an edge of a sharp precipice. Imagine yourself climbing the mountain, feeling hot and tired, and then coming upon this lovely, refreshing meadow. Stop and rest for a while in its peace and beauty. Imagine how it looks; how it sounds; how it smells. Breathe in deeply the cool mountain air, and relax down into the soft grass; stay as long as you like. When ready to leave, go to the edge of the precipice and throw over anything that has been bothering you---that you wish to be rid of in your life. Picture it as a glaring, jagged edged word, a chain, a brick, any image that helps you symbolize it as undesirable. When the "visit" is completed, thank yourself or your God or whatever you see as your higher power for the release of your burden; then walk peacefully back through the meadow and down the mountain.
Practice this imagery in class for 10-15 min. Answer questions students may have about the details of the technique.
(3) Direct students to practice this at home in a quiet place, but also to do it whenever stress, at work, in traffic, etc., threatens their serenity. It really is a good way to find peace.
(4) Discuss with class: Why do you think this might work? Or not work? Do you think it could help concentration and focus? Would it help to prioritize things in your life? How can you continue to do this later on?
Materials and Resources:
This class was very cohesive and cooperative and felt that this sort of information was very valuable to workers in blue-collar positions as well as white-collar workers. These lessons can be a "hard sell" at first, especially for busy men who think they have no time to think about stress. However, once recruited to the class, it is likely that more time will be needed as people recognize stressors in their lives that they had not been aware of before, and they will want to talk-share-compare to try to develop coping mechanisms.