The Beach Walk Visualization Exercise
For a few moments allow yourself to take several nice, long, deep breaths. Notice the cool air coming in,
filling your lungs, and the soothing warm air going out. Just let all your thoughts float away as you bring your
attention to your breathing... in and out. You might mentally scan your body and notice if you're holding any
tension in your muscles. If you are, just gently let all that tension melt away with every out breath. Bring your
attention to your breathing, in and out... in and out... let yourself feel more and more comfortable sitting
where you are.
In your mind's eye you see yourself descending down a long, narrow, wooden stairway towards a beautiful,
inviting beach. Your bare feet feel the rough weathered steps, and with each step, you feel more and more
tension gently melting away from your body. As you continue down the stairway, you notice how the bright
white sand stretches down the shoreline as far as you can see. The ocean is a deep shade of blue with the
fine white crests of the waves sweeping towards the shore. You reach the end of the stairway and step
down, sinking into the warm soothing sand. As you rub the sand lightly between your toes, a soothing
sensation of relaxation gently melts through your entire body. The roaring sounds of the sea's surf, the
waves crashing over each other, calms your mind and allows you to feel even more relaxed.
You begin walking slowly towards the edge of the water and notice the warm sun on your face and
shoulders. The salty smell of the sea air invigorates you, and you take in a deep breath... breathe slowly
out... and feel more relaxed and refreshed. Finally, you reach the water's edge and you gladly invite the
waves to flow over your toes and ankles. You watch the waves glide smoothly towards you, gently sweeping
around your feet, and the trails of sea water that flow slowly back out again. The cool water feels soft and
comforting as you enjoy a few moments allowing yourself to gaze out on the far reaching horizon. Overhead,
you notice two seagulls gracefully soaring high above the ocean waters, and you can hear their soft cries
becoming faint as they glide away. And all of these sights, sounds, and sensations allow you to let go and
relax more and more.
After a moment you begin strolling down the beach at the water's edge. You feel a cool gentle breeze
pressing lightly against your back, and with every step you feel yourself relaxing more and more. As you
walk down the beach you notice the details of sights and sounds around you, and soothing sensations of the
sun, the breeze, and the sand below your feet. As you continue your leisurely walk down the beach, you
notice a colorful beach chair resting in a nice peaceful spot where the powdery soft sand lies undisturbed.
You approach this comfortable looking beach chair, then you sit down, lie back, and settle in. You take in a
long deep breath, breathe slowly out, and feel even more relaxed and comfortable resting in your chair.
Now, I bet all of you did not expect this when you woke up… Whatever you did today and wherever your day
took you, you weren’t expecting to have fun and relax like this. In fact, you are probably thinking of 2 or 3
friends who could really use some de-stressing and relaxing time too.
For a few moments more, let yourself enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful day on the beach. And,
when you feel ready, you can gently bring your attention back to the room... still letting yourself feel nice and
comfortable sitting where you are.
Relaxation Script (Sherry Hill)
I’m going to take you through a relaxation and visualization experience. First we are going to concentrate on our
breathing. In our stressed out world we don’t take the time to breathe correctly. Take a deep breath in through your
no...se for count of 5 and out for count of 5. Do this with them! As you continue to breathe in deeply let the air fill your
lungs all the way down to your diaphragm. As you exhale, feel the stress leave your body. Let the stress melt from the
top of your head, down your forehead, eyes, nose, your cheeks and your jaw.
Relax your shoulders. Visualize the stress traveling down your arms, your elbows, relax your wrists, and just let the
stress roll right out the end of your finger tips. Remember to continue breathing deeply, feel the stress melt down
through your lower body, down your legs, feel your knees relax, your ankles and right out the end of your toes. And
just R-E-L-A-X. (Remain quiet for 30 seconds. Conduct hand massages. Remind them to breathe deeply and slowly.)
Now let’s go to a place where you are completely at peace. Imagine yourself on a beautiful white sandy beach,
overlooking turquoise waters. The waves gently lapping your toes, you feel the breeze blowing through your hair and
the warmth of the sun melts the tension away. you can smell the salt in the air and you can hear the seagulls flying
over head. Now I want you take a walk down the beach. feel the warm sand melt between your toes. As you are
walking, you notice a white fluffy towel, lying in the sand. I want you to walk up to it and begin to lie down. Feel the
warmth of the sand through the towel as it hits your lower back and then your shoulders. Wiggle down deep in the
sand and get as comfortable as you possibly can. There is no one there, just you, the sand and the endless sea.
(Remain quiet for a minute or so.) I want you to look around in your mind’s eye and take in all the sights, sounds and
smells, so that whenever you feel tired and stressed out, you can take yourself back to this place on the beach and
Take a last deep breath in through your nose and o-u-t. You can slowly come back, sit up a little, take off your eye
pads—and tell me how do you feel?(Ahhh) (turn all lights back up at this point to wake them up. They Remove Eye
Pads) So how do you feel?
Relaxation Verbiage (Diane Dinkmeyer)
1. Pick a Place choose a setting that evokes a sense of peacefulness and serenity for you. Maybe some place you’ve
been or it could be a place from your imagination. The following possibilities are offered as a guide, but feel free to use
whatever place works for you. The only requirements are that your place feels peaceful, safe and serene to you.
2. Close your eyes now and imagine yourself in your peaceful place. It’s as simple as that. Your beautiful safe place is
waiting for you whenever you choose to go there.
3. Imagine the smells. To help you get the most out of this experience focus on the smells that are a part of your
special place. What scents are in the air? Flowers? The tang of salt air? The sweet moldy smell of damp leaves?
4. Listen: What are the sounds in your safe place? Quiet? Wing rippling the leaves? Gentle roar of the surf Birds
singing or chirping? The gurgling of a stream or the purring of a kitten?
5. Feel the sensations on your skin as you relax in your seren spot. Warmth of the sun/ a gentle breeze, a light spray
coming off the tops of the waves? The cool ground beneth your feet, the warm sand?
6. LOOK As you gaze around your spot, what do you see? The beauty of nature? Beautiful blues in the sky? Reds
yellows and oranges of leaves or wildflowers, deep sea green of the waves before they topple into a froth of white.
7. Gently banish disruptive thoughts..Use your imagination to shoo away the intrusive thoughts that love to pop up
when we are trying to enjoy some peace and quiet. Attach the thought to a twig floating downstream or a cloud that
8. Enjoy: This is your time to be quiet and relaxed so you can recharge your batteries. Keep telling yourself this is your
special place where you are completely safe and all worries and concerns are far away.
9. Tell yourself : I can relax at will, I am at perfect peace, I love and accept myself, everything I need is within me, I am
relaxing deeper and deeper, I choose to be peaceful and serene, I am perfect and whole as I am.
Relaxation Script (Akyia Boston)
Now what we’re going to do first is put your body in a state of relaxation. We’re going to start by doing some deep breathing. I’m
going to count for you. When I count to 4 you’re going to inhale through your nose very slowly. And then I’m going to count to 4
and you’re going to exhale through your mouth. You’re going to open your mouth just a little and push the air out. It will sound
something like (Demonstrate a whoosh sound) Just a long slow breath like that.
So let’s just practice that a couple of times. I want you to inhale 2….3….4 and exhale 2…3…4 and inhale 2…3…4 and exhale
We’re going to keep that rhythm going and I’m going to relax your head to toe.
We’re going to start at your feet and move up toward your heart.
This time when you inhale what I want you to do is concentrate on tightening the muscles in your feet from your heels to your toes
by tensing all those muscles when you inhale and when you exhale release all those muscles.
So let’s try that. Inhale and tense 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4 again tense 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4
Now we’re going to move up to the lower part of the leg between your knee and ankle. And we’re going to tense the calf muscle
this time because your calves get quite a workout from all the bending, stooping, and lifting that we do. You can do that by lifting
your toes or your heels.
Take just a regular breath in and out first. And now a deep breath in and tense the calf 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4 again tense
2…3…4 and release 2…3…4
Now we’re going to move to the upper part of the leg between the hip and the knee. We have lots of muscles in our upper leg. The
quadriceps are on the top and our hamstrings are in the back.
We’re going to tense these muscles and relax them twice. Take a short breath in and exhale. Now tense 2…3…4 and release
2…3…4 again tense 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4
Now we’re going to take a break here and do some regular breathing and rest for a moment. Then we’re going to move up to the
We do this exercise because stress leads to heart disease and heart disease is the number one killer in women.
Now we’re going to move up to the upper torso. This time we’re going to tighten our abdominal muscles; pretend you’re pulling
your belly button to your back. This helps to strengthen the lower back where we carry a lot of stress and tension. So let’s give
that a try inhale and tense 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4 again inhale 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4
Now we’re going to move up to the upper part of the back where we carry a lot of stress and tension between our shoulder blades.
When you tense the muscles this time, think about pulling your shoulder blades together in the back as if they were going to touch
and when you exhale just let your shoulders drop. We’re going to do this twice. Inhale and tense 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4
again tense 2…3…4 and release 2…3…4
Put your arms in your lap and turn your palms face up.
We’re going to work on your arms from your shoulder down to your fingertips. As I’m counting to 4, you’re going to tense all of
those muscles. By the time I get to 4 you’re going to make a tight fist and then when you exhale you’re going to release those
muscles into an open palm and we’re going to do that twice.
Ready, tense 2…3… make a tight fist and release 2…3… and open again tense 2…3… make a tight fist and release 2…3… and
open. We’re not going to tighten the neck area because it stays tense.
I do want you to concentrate on relaxing your whole head and neck just let the muscles in your neck go. Let your face go slack, no
reason to frown, no reason to smile.
In a moment I’m going to turn the music up and give you just a moment to relax on your own. But before we do that I want you to
put all that tension and stress aside and if your mind starts to wander back to those things I want you to picture yourself in a place
that is relaxing for you.
Where do you go to relax, if it’s the beach I want you to feel the sand beneath your feet. I want you to feel the sun on your face
and smell that ocean. If it’s the mountains I want you to see yourself in front of a fire curled with a warm blanket drinking a cup of
hot cocoa or a glass of wine. Wherever it is, take yourself there. I’m going to turn the music up and give you a moment and then
bring you back to me.
(Turn up music and wait for a minute or two)
Another deep breath in and exhale. Another breath in and exhale. I’m going to count backwards from 5 to 1, slowly start coming
You can remove your face towel.
I’m going to come around and collect your eye pads.