Guided imagery, also known as visualization or mental rehearsal, is a therapeutic technique in which we create images in the mind to reduce stress, pain, or other negative experiences, familiarize ourselves with a situation before it actually happens, or imagine ourselves achieving goals.
Visualization is a powerful motivation tool that helps you build confidence, improve mood, and attract positive outcomes.
How Does Guided Imagery for Kids Work?
Guided imagery is about envisioning a certain goal or visualizing yourself performing a certain activity that you are trying to master. Visualization can be used to help your child relax and improve sleep patterns, increase resilience and stress-coping mechanisms, overcome anxiety, improve school success, increase happiness, and boost self-esteem.
Here are some of the most effective ways to practice guided imagery with your child.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Guided imagery is best practiced when a child feels relaxed and content. Have your child sit or lie comfortably and use simple mindfulness exercises for kids to help your child calm his body and mind and breathe deeply and rhythmically. This will help him focus only on the present moment.
Once totally relaxed, the child should focus on a goal he wants to achieve. For example, if your child wants to achieve athletic success, let him focus on techniques, performances, and skills he wants to improve or demonstrate. Most importantly, your child should focus on the reactions and feelings he wants to experience during his performance. Have the child repeat this visualization practice each day, before, during, and after training.
2. Vision Boards
Research shows that mental imagery shows the best effects if you apply it through vision boards. A good vision board focuses on things that your child wants, but more importantly, it emphasizes how she wants to feel about them.
To help your child create a successful vision board, encourage her to identify her vision and to focus on how she wants to feel about her goals. Help your child find pictures or quotes that inspire and motivate and place the vision board somewhere where she can see it.
3. Guided Meditation for a Healthy Body Image
Guided imagery can be a great tool to encourage a positive body image for your child. The social pressures from culture and social media influence often make kids and teens think they are never good enough. However, you can help your child develop a healthy body image that will last for life.
Meditation scripts for a positive body image help children and teens boost self-esteem, alleviate stress and anxiety, feel good about themselves, and develop a positive mindset.
Choose one of the scripts that promote a healthy body image, help your child relax, and visualize herself as a perfect individual with a strong, healthy, and beautiful body. Remind her to be grateful for her marvelous body and everything it allows her to do (to move around, experience the world with senses, lift and hold things, express emotions, create art, communicate with others, etc.).
With constant practice, your child will gain better control of his visualizations to focus on the feelings it creates in him. And by creating powerful emotions, your child will be able to create powerful outcomes as well.
Take care and keep healthy and positive,