The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
34. Using Visualization and Deep Breathing
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Using Visualization and Deep Breathing
David M. Tack
“Dad, relax! Just take a couple deep breaths. Copy after me like this, and you won’t be upset anymore.”
This is the advice my two-year old daughter Gabby Jeanne gave me while we were driving home after I had a particularly challenging day at work. Following Gabby’s lead, I took deep breaths and began reframing the situation in my mind: focusing on the passing trees, the beautiful cloudless sky, and ripening grain fields swaying in the breeze. In under ten seconds, I felt my stress disintegrate as together we sang “Frere Jacques” the rest of the way home.
What was the most amazing about this story is not how I was able to relieve my stress so quickly—I often use methods of quick visualization to reframe situations that are distressful and make them more manageable, usually in just a few seconds. What was really amazing is how much Gabby Jeanne has in common with medical doctors, nurses, sports psychologists, and even the Dalai Lama in her approach to stress management through biofeedback methods. During clinical visualization sessions, medical practitioners employ deep-breathing methods to instigate an initial positive mindset, through multisensory imagery experiences and positive self-statements that enhance their patients’ feeling of relaxation and refocus negative mindsets.
For this chapter, I would like to address the use of visualization and deep-breathing techniques within...
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