Our minds don’t always know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. That’s why you develop anxiety symptoms when you are just thinking about a scary situation or event. Your mind reacts, even though the event is just in your mind. But you can use this idea to your advantage. Guided imagery brings you to a relaxing place, it creates a calm, safe environment in your mind.
Research has shown that 10 minutes of guided imagery can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. It improves your immune system functioning, accelerates weight loss and reduces anxiety. But it can be hard to focus and "transport" yourself to another place with just your words. That’s where guided imagery apps come in.
The following apps help you stay focused on the relaxation process:
Relieve Stress, Relax & Sleep - This is a 3 minute app that transports you to a white, powdery tropical beach. It uses music, sounds of birds and waves to help you relax. The app is free and available for Android.
End Your Day Perfectly - This is a 20 minute guided imagery audio program and also includes a 60 page e-book and a 5 minute video on relaxation. It is available for the iPhone and iPad and costs $2.99.
Guided Imagery - An app that gives you directed suggestions to guide your imagination to a place of relaxation. There are videos and audios and the app includes over 1,000 photos to promote relaxation. It is available for iPhone, iPad and Android and costs $1.99.
Creative Space - This guided imagery app helps you create a "white room" or a space in your mind that is reserved just for you. You can place your thoughts, ideas and plans that will help in your growth inside this "room" for safekeeping. In this room all is possible. This app has a 27 minute audio guided imagery program along with an e-book on NLP and a 7 minute video. It is available for iPhone and iPad and costs $2.99.
Relax with Andrew Johnson - When you find it difficult to "turn off" the stresses of the day, this guided app can help you slow down the world around you and relax. It also teaches relaxation techniques. It is available for Android, iPhone and iPad and costs $2.99.
Relax Completely Now - This app provides metaphors, suggestions and guided imagery to help you tap into your own mind and imagination to reduce stress. It has a musical soundscape. It is available for Android and costs $3.99.
Simply Being - This guided imagery relaxation app has been recommended by NY Times, Self Magazine, Yoga Journal and the Huffington Post. It has different guided meditations, with options for 5-, 10-, 15- or 20- minutes so you can choose the option best for you - at this time. It costs $0.99 and is available for Android, IPhone and iPad.
Mindfulness Meditation - Provides a meditation checklist and an audio guide to meditation. Has several different guided meditations, starting at 5 minutes and going up to 40 minutes so you can use it if you only have a few minutes. It costs $1.99 and is available for iPhone
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.