As you move beyond your initial imagery explorations, you’ll begin to experience the benefits of going deeper within. There are benefits of relaxation that extend beyond its ability to relieve tension patterns. These effects make it even more valuable as a foundation upon which to build your self-healing abilities. Let’s look at the four main benefits:

1. Having a choice in how you feel.

Learning to relax builds confidence in your ability to control your body, your feelings, and your thoughts. You become aware of having more choice in how you react and how you feel.

2. Identifying sources of tension.

Relaxing helps you become more aware of what kinds of things, people, and thoughts tend to make you tense. This is the first step in being able to deal with them constructively.

3. Enhanced creativity and problem-solving ability.

Relaxation interrupts habitual negative thought patterns, clears your mind, and opens it to new ideas, new possibilities, and new ways of solving old problems. It allows you to draw on your intuition and creativity to help you move in the direction you want to go.

4. Relaxation sets the stage for skillful imaging.

Deep relaxation provides a state of mind in which more advanced and specific imagery techniques are most effective. The ability to quiet your mind and concentrate your attention will enable you to make the best use of the more advanced techniques.