Close your eyes and practice deep belly breathing for a few minutes. Focus on your breath, as you slowly breathe in and out. Take your time, and as you breathe, feel your body letting go of tension, and let your breath travel through your system, clearing away distractions. If any thoughts enter your mind, don’t fight them. Know that they will drift away as you focus on your breathing.
Begin to visualize yourself standing at the top of a safe, wide staircase. Notice that the staircase has handrails on either side. The staircase might be straight, or twist into a gentle spiral.
Know that there are seven stairs that reach deep down into a place in your mind where you are relaxed, calm and centered. Take the first step slowly, and as you do so, use your inner voice to say the words ‘seven’ and ‘down.’
Stand on step seven and focus on breathing deeply, and slowly. Look down towards your feet and see the word ‘seven’ written there in a deep toned, warm red color.
Descend down to step six, and say the words ‘six’ and ‘down.’ Look down towards your feet and see the word ‘six’ written there in a vibrant orange color. Breathe deeply, and notice that your body is feeling heavy and relaxed.
Take the next step down to five, and use your inner voice to say the words ‘five’ and ‘down.’ Know that when you look down you will see the word ‘five’ written there in warm yellow. Look at the yellow color for a while, as you take deep, long breaths down into your belly and relax.
Descend down further to step four. Use your inner voice to say the words ‘four’ and ‘down.’ Notice a bright, emerald green light emanating from the word ‘four’ written on the step under your feet. Let the green light seep deep into your body, while you unwind further and further down.
Descend down lower to step three. Hear your inner voice slowly saying the words ‘three’ and ‘down,’ as you relax deeper and deeper. A beautiful blue light is shining beneath your feet, emanating from the word ‘three.’
Enjoy the soft, gentle heaviness your body is experiencing as your mind travels deeper down to step two. Inwardly say the words ‘two’ and ‘down.’ Become aware of a wonderful indigo light glowing beneath your feet and enveloping your body. Know that the light comes from the word ‘two.’
Experience a sense of peace and calm, as you descend down further still to step one. Hear the words ‘one’ and ‘down’ in your mind, and see a stunning violet color stemming from the word ‘one’ beneath your feet. Notice the violet light entering your body, making you feel warm, satisfied and content. Let the violet light work its way through every vein in your body, as you relax deeply.
Remain on step one for a while, enjoying a feeling of calm serenity, as you breathe deeply.
When you are ready, turn and begin ascending the staircase. Be aware of each number you pass as you slowly climb the stairs past the words two, three and four. Experience the sensation of your body becoming lighter, as you feel clean, clear air entering your body with each breath that you take.
Climb up further to steps five, six, and finally seven. Begin to feel the ground, chair or cushion beneath you. Wriggle your fingers and toes, and open your eyes.
Use this deep relaxation exercise whenever you have time and feel the need to do so. The more you practice, the easier it will become, until you are proficient in the art of using visualization as a deep relaxation method.