This lesson helps young people understand the negative effects of tension and stress, and how you can use your imagination to help you relax. The youth will draw pictures of their minds under stress. Then the instructor will lead young people in a guided imagery exercise.
What is guided imagery? How can guided imagery be helpful to us? How do you do it?
Explain to the youth that 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 use your imagination to “Create the State You Want,” meaning that you can actually change how you are feeling and what you are focused on.
Complete the Create the State You Want worksheet as a way to think about the power of images and how we create pictures in our minds based on how we are feeling.
Read aloud the Guided Imagery script to your class or group. When everyone has had time to come back to full awareness of the present, allow young people time to talk about their experience. Do they feel more calm and relaxed after the guided imagery experience? Remind them that our brains are very powerful and can impact our positive and negative thoughts.
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.
Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, which also includes directions for guided imagery, so that families can practice “creating the state they want” at home.