As a first step in working with imagery — or even if you used imagery before — try beginning a journal or notebook to record and monitor your experiences and progress. Consider this journal a diary of your personal experience with healing and increasing wellness. Record your imagery experiences, your thoughts, feelings, questions, and changes in emotional wellness as you work. Use it to keep a record of your moods, your stress levels, diet, and activity level. Write in it, draw in it, paste newspaper or magazine pictures in it, and include anything else that has meaning for you in your healing work. This is your journal — keep it in any form that will be most useful for you.
You may find this journal valuable in many ways as you become more aware of the many factors that influence your wellness. Reviewing your journal from time to time will help you see the process as it unfolds, remind you of lessons already learned, and help you spot recurring patterns that may deserve more exploration.
As you write about your experience, you may want to consider the following questions:
- Did you experience any of the images as pictures? Sounds? Smells? Tastes? Feelings?
- Which images came easily? Which were more difficult, and were there any you weren’t able to imagine at all?
- Were you surprised by any particular images or your reactions to them?
- Were you able to make your images clearer by relaxing more?
- Did anything of special interest or importance happen?
- Did you have emotional reactions to any of the images?
- Did you experience heat, cold, or other sensations at any time? If you did, you’ve already begun to influence your body through your imagery. If not, you may want to experiment with your own images until you can imagine these sensations.
- Could you develop a sense of peacefulness in the last part of the exercise? If not, work with that part of the imagery exploration again until you can recall or imagine yourself feeling peaceful. When this happens, you have taken an important step in creating a positive emotional state for yourself — by choice.
If you were able to notice changes in sensation or mood from your first imagery explorations, it’s an indication that your body is particularly responsive to your imagery. If you didn’t notice any change, however, don’t despair. Like any skill, imagery takes time to learn, and you may first need to learn to relax your body and quiet your mind in order to notice results.