Guided Imagery for Children

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Guided imagery, the practice of imagining yourself into a desirable reality, is an effective way for children to deal with pain or emotional trauma. As FamilyEducation reports, children are keenly capable of taking advantage of the benefits of guided imagery. I your child is prone to fits of stress or is in the midst of a painful struggle, consider putting guided imagery to work as a way to help him make it through his challenges.


Potential Benefits

Guided imagery can be used for an assortment of purposes, reports Family Education. This method of deliberate refocusing can help children overcome mental struggles, ease physical discomfort and assist them in coping with difficult situations. Practicing this concentration-based activity regularly can also help children build their abilities to focus and increase their creative skills.

Slow and Steady

One of the keys to successful guided imagery efforts is breath control. When guiding children through guided imagery, start by getting them to breathe in a slow, rhythmic pattern. By doing so, children can slow their pulse and focus their minds. This steady breathing also helps those attempting guided imagery to move into themselves and let go of the world around them.

Engaging the Senses

When guiding children through guided imagery, health or alternative medicine practioners commonly encourage the participants to engage their senses. To do this, they ask the child to picture himself in a setting, and inquire as to the sensory details. For example, if trying to help a child work through pain, an individual leading a sensory imagery session may ask the child to picture himself on a relaxing beach and ask the child what the sand feels like under his toes, what he sees around him and what smells come off the ocean waters. As the child engages his senses, he can become even more engulfed in his imaginary world.

Background Sound

Often, those leading individuals through guided imagery find that background sound proves an effective way to divorce the child from the real world and engage him in an imaginary setting. If a child is trying to imagine himself achieving his baseball goals, for example, the individual guiding the session may play a sound effects CD containing the cacophony of a busy stadium, the sound of a ball cracking off of a bat, or a vendor shouting about his peanuts, popcorn and hot dogs.

Practical Applications

Guided imagery is often used in clinical settings, such as when trying to help a child who is going through chemotherapy, but it can also prove an effective way to help your child accomplish his goals. As Family Education reports, parents can use guided imagery to help alleviate their child’s everyday stress. For example, if their child is nervous about a test, helpful parents can guide their child through a session in which the child imagines himself getting the A he so desires,reducing stress and allowing him to tackle the test with greater confidence.

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