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What Does it Mean if You Zone Out While Listening to Guided Imagery?

23 Jun

I'm very new to guided imagery. After listening to Healing Trauma for a couple of weeks, I find that my mind now "goes off" somewhere (sort of like right before falling asleep, but not sleeping).

I am aware that thoughts are flitting in and out but I can't remember what I was "thinking" about or otherwise doing. And I have no memory of anything said on the CD. This usually lasts for most of the entire CD.

I feel relaxed when I "awake" but am wondering if, because I don't remember hearing anything on the CD past the first few minutes, if I am missing the whole point or IS that the whole point? This doesn't happen when I just listen to the affirmations. Thank you for your answer.

Christy

Dear Christy,

Yes, that is the point. You're doing everything just fine, and that is a typical experience of many people when listening to guided imagery.

In a right brained, immersive, self-hypnotic state, people typically drift in and out, not a thought in their heads (for the most part), just fleeting, floaty images, sensations, muscular reactions, emotions... yet you are still somehow aware of the minute the recording has ended.

You re-emerge into regular waking reality more relaxed, voice lower and slower, limbs heavier and with who knows what degree of cumulative healing going on deep down inside your body, way below the place where your analytic mind does its clever but sometimes not very relevant "yadda yadda yadda" - tracking, cogitating, comparing, contrasting, pondering and verbalizing. That can happen later.

Let the floaty stuff happen first, for as long as it needs to.

Some people do manage to cognitively track what is being said and still be in the deep altered state that promotes growth. That's fine too. There are many "correct" ways to do this. Just stick with the repeat playing and let the cumulative benefits accrue.

So, yes indeedy! Carry on, Christy!!

All best,

Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.