What is guided imagery?
If you could give your child a gift that could last a lifetime, would you? How about a powerful tool that can increase your child’s well being and happiness? Guided imagery is exactly that kind of gift. A fun, safe, and effective tool that can transform lives. It’s easy to learn and benefits kids in all areas of life.
Guided imagery can help your child transform discord into harmony, anxiety into confidence, sadness into happiness and confusion into certainty. It is a strategy you can use within your family to turn a chaotic situation into a peaceful moment. You can use this technique to calm your children, help them relax, release tension and sleep more deeply.
And the bonus? Parents and children who practice these techniques together enhance their relationships and create more open and honest communication.
What is guided imagery?
Guided imagery is as simple as closing your eyes, taking a few relaxing breaths and allowing your imagination to take a journey -- one described to you by a facilitator.
I tell my young students, “It’s just like I’m telling you a story and you can use your imagination to follow along and add to the story how you’d like!” Some people liken it to meditation. Some people call it closed eye process.
Whatever you call it, kids love it. After his first guided imagery class, one of my students asked his mom, “Do I have to go to soccer practice next week? I want to come here.” Another guided imagery teacher I know had a student exclaim, “Wow! That was better than my video game. When can we come back for more?”
Tangible results for a simple process
While deceptively simple and clearly fun for kids to do, guided imagery is really powerful stuff. Dr Charles Raison, professor of psychiatry at Emory University, researched meditation, and related tools like guided imagery, and its effects on depression and stress in students. His conclusions supported the use of meditation as a tool to reduce student depression.
Therapists who use guided imagery with children report reduced test anxiety, more positive relationships with peers and enhanced management of emotions such as anger and sadness. Scientists have also discovered that meditation and guided imagery enhance body functions, reduce blood pressure and increase the responsiveness of immune systems.
(Louise is founder of EmpowerKidsNow.com)
Healthy Houston Kids
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