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Use guided imagery to help kids deal with stress and anxiety

Guided imagery is a simple, powerful technique that can have many health-related physical and emotional benefits. It can help people feel less nervous or upset, be less bothered by pain or achieve a goal such as an athletic or academic achievement. 

Through guided imagery you can learn to work through turmoil from the inside out as you use your imagination to actually change how you are feeling and what you are focused on. Even very young children can begin to learn this skill by linking images in their minds with feelings and experiences. 

One way to introduce guided imagery is to use a rubber band and ask your child to stretch it as far as it will go. Then point out that if we keep it in this position too long it will snap. Explain that the same thing is true for humans, we need to be able to relax, calm, down, and get rid of our tension in order to be well. 

Guided imagery is a great tool to help with all different kinds of stress kids may face, including: 

  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem
  • Emotional health
  • Difficulty showing empathy
  • Social stress
  • Low energy and lack of motivation

Encourage young people to take time to practice guided imagery. Let them know it can be done almost anywhere at any time and can be done to help them face a particular challenge (such as an upcoming test), or just because it's healthy and feels good.

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