Blake has worked in the mental health field since 2002 educating and inspiring hope on the journey toward recovery.
Why Imagine a Forest for Relaxation?
Natural environments are calming for many people, so using a guided imagery forest script is an excellent way to reduce stress. The protected feeling of being underneath a canopy of trees allows the participant to feel in control of what happens in the forest, and may offer them a sense of comfort and peace. Progressive muscle relaxation can also be used to help rid the body of any tension.
The challenging part of imagery is relaxing. This is easier said than done. Take a few moments and use some deep breathing exercises to prepare.
When reading a script, read it with a slow, even, and calm tone. Take a couple seconds to pause between each description to allow time for the mind to paint the picture in detail. The more details, the better. These details will guide the imagination while encouraging some freedom for creativity.
A Walk Through the Forest
This script will take you down a path through a forest. You can close your eyes and let your imagination fill in all the details as you are guided down the path. The path may look familiar to you, or it may be somewhere you have never been.
Guided Imagery Forest Script
Close your eyes and imagine that you are standing at the edge of a field. You see a tree line where a forest begins only a few yards away. Just on the other side of the tree line, you see a trail, so you walk out of the field towards the path and enter into the woods.
The light in the forest cascades down through the leaves in a soft spray of light. The layers of forest have various textures. The lower undergrowth is soft and green. There are ferns, moss, and small growths reaching towards the light.
The upper canopy of the trees covers you like a stained glass roof overhead. The light green leaves against the light blue and white sky create a soft, glowing, ambient light. The light is gentle and soothing.
The path you are walking upon winds down a slight hill and curves. It's well-trodden, and you continue to follow it. The path is a combination of soil, roots, and small plants, and it is easy to walk upon.
Once you round the corner, you see a stream. You continue toward it, admiring the large trees and the different types of bark on each tree trunk. Some trees have rough bark, and some have smooth bark; some have light bark, and others dark.
As you near the stream, you can hear the rippling water sounds getting louder in a constant rhythm. You see the rocks just under the surface of the water; the water swirls around some and pours over others.
You decide to sit upon a large tree that has fallen over, and you slip your shoes off and dip your bare feet in the stream. The water is very cold, but it instantly soothes your feet. As you adjust to the cold, you notice that the water is swirling around and over your feet. As the water massages your feet, you can hear birds chirping.
There are several different birds sounding. You can also hear the breeze fluttering through the leaves on the trees. You close your eyes and enjoy the sounds.
After you rest for a while, enjoying your surroundings, you decide that you are ready to leave. You grab your shoes, put each one on, and step to the dry bank of the stream. You see the path that brought you here and start back up the hill and around the bend.
As you walk back, many of the trees seem familiar. You see the bright entrance to your path up ahead. As you approach the entrance, you stop and linger. You turn around and look down the path, taking note of what you are seeing and hearing. You can visit this special place any time you'd like in your mind.
Finally, you exit the forest, and find yourself in a bright field. You open your eyes and return to your awareness.
You can use this same imagery any time you'd like even without the script. Use your imagination, do something different, or notice different details.
Forest Walk Video
The Best Location to Imagine
More Resources for Mental Health
- Activities for Mental Health Groups
Activities have the power to engage mental health clients in groups where they learn knowledge and skills to cope with the challenges they face. Use these activities to make your groups fun.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 19, 2018:
Very attractively presented and helpful article Blake. Thank you.
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on November 09, 2015:
I go walking through the woods many times. This virtual walk was so realistic that I got the same relaxing feeling as if I were there. Your guided imagery introduction before the video really set the stage. Well done!
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on September 05, 2015:
Kate, the script is copyrighted, but I am o.k. with you using it for educational or therapeutic purposes. I don't give permission to republish.
Kate on September 01, 2015:
Your guided imagery scripts are great! Relaxes me just reading through them. Do these have any copyright on them? Would they be ok to use in a practice setting or classroom setting?
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on June 01, 2014:
Brian, Good point. Really getting out into relaxing natural environments is best. Imagery is an artificial way to visit these places. I think the more you get out there, the less you'll need imagery. And if you do need to use imagery, you'll be able to use your own memories to have a more detailed and vivid session.
Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on June 01, 2014:
I like to go to a real beach on a large body of water, such as an ocean or one of the Great Lakes in the USA, and relax my mind by gazing across the water at the far horizon. I also like to stroll on a footpath in a forest or woods in a warm weather month but before or after the worst months for ticks, mosquitoes, and horse flies. Of the forests in which I've strolled, I particularly liked a cedar forest. A guided imagery imaginary forest or beach is next best to a real forest or breach. This hub does it excellently.