Free guided relaxation resources include downloadable audio files, relaxation videos and scripts to download and record yourself. Guided relaxation induces the relaxation response by tapping into the power of the unconscious mind. Like relaxation imagery exercises, guided relaxation starts by releasing physical tension, then progresses to releasing negative thoughts leading to stress. As part of basic strategies in stress management, guided relaxation provides a free and effective way to manage stress.
How Guided Relaxation Works
The unconscious mind powers many of our activities and thoughts, both good and bad. Stressful thoughts or images replayed in the unconscious may lead to tensions and additional stress. Like a tape player stuck in a perpetual loop, our unconscious mind may repeat over and over again negative messages. Guided relaxation seeks to replace those negative messages with positive ones. Instead of focusing on stressful feelings and the physical symptoms associated with stress, such as headaches and muscle tension, free guided relaxation provides suggestions to the unconscious mind to relax and release the tension. The positive messages gradually replace the negative ones, until the mental tape plays messages decreasing stress levels.
Harnessing the power of the unconscious to create a relaxation response accomplishes many things for the practitioner. After practicing guided relaxation, your body will feel better as the aches and pains induced by stress disappear. You may find anxiety and depression lessen, as negative, painful thoughts are replaced by positive ones. People even use guided relaxations prior to stressful events, like doctor and dentist visits, to put themselves in a better frame of mind. Guided relaxations are powerful stress relief tools.
Free Guided Relaxation
Free guided relaxation resources abound throughout the Internet.
Downloadable Guided Relaxations
The traditional free guided relaxation includes audio files. Users listen online or download to their desktop of portable music player. Each file includes soft, relaxing music and a voice over from an expert in guided relaxation. Most audio guided relaxations begin with some sort of muscle tension sequence to release physical tension. Then, once you are relaxed, positive affirmations repeated by the person guiding the relaxation meditation help you release stress and focus on good thoughts.
Some downloadable free guided relaxation sources include:
- The Relax and Release Corner offers a free audio sample of their total guided relaxation program.
- Firethorn Drive provides a downloadable MP3 file for expectant mothers to guide them in relaxation techniques for labor and delivery.
- Brain Sync offers a ten-minute guided meditation for those who want a shorter, focused practice.
Video Guided Relaxations
Pretty pictures, soft music, and audio relaxation clues transform your desktop into a private, free relaxation session. Many websites offer guided relaxations featuring nature scenes and other soothing images. If you can close your office door for a few moments, watching an online guided relaxation provides great stress relief.
A few sites worth visiting for free video relaxation programs include:
- The Australian-based Meditation Society has pictures to focus on and beautiful guided meditations for relaxation.
- The Ammol Mehta site includes free guided relaxation videos online.
- Self Healing Expressions offers a marvelous relaxation video with beautiful nature photography and soothing Eastern-style music.
- Instructor Anusara Yogi Bridget Woods Kramer includes a free guided meditation video online.
Guided Meditation Scripts
Some professionals believe that guided meditations are more effective if recorded in the listener's own voice. Many feel that listening to new messages recorded in the meditator's voice reinforces the new, positive thoughts within the unconscious mind. All you need to try it is a recording device and a guided meditation script. Choose a quiet room and read the scripts below in a natural, calm, voice. Be sure to take your time and include all the prompts suggested within the script. Then, try your next guided meditation using your own home-created meditation exercise.
Ian Kerr, a retired family practice physician, also offers an online guided meditation script for those who'd like to try to create their own meditation recording.