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Guided Imagery Exercises for Teenagers
Guided imagery exercises are a form of relaxation techniques that can help you increase your own awareness, help you refocus and feel calm, according to the Mayo Clinic. Guided Imagery can be performed with the help of a mental health professional or the aid of a teacher, but as a teen you can learn guided imagery techniques to perform on your own.
Imagery asana is a technique in yoga. Under this technique you imagine yourself successfully doing something before you do it, according to Yoga Journal. Asana imagery can help you to strengthen your natural behavior and perform an action later without much thought, reports Yoga Journal. This technique can be used, for example, in your sports. Imagine yourself kicking the ball correctly or landing the move; your body will prepare itself for later success because the visualization allowed for the development of the behavior, suggests Yoga Journal. Also, asana imagery could be used when preparing to give a class presentation. Imagine yourself moving through the presentation with success. This will help you prepare for the real thing.
You can use visualization to help deal with stresses and anxieties from school, family or friends. In the process of visualization, you imagine yourself in a calming place, such as sitting on a white sandy beach. The place you choose to imagine should be a place personally peaceful to you where you feel you are safe to let go of anxiety and tension, suggests Help Guide. According to the Mayo Clinic, when you use visualization the key is to fully engulf yourself in the calming place by using all of your senses. You should be able to hear, see, smell and feel the beach. This will help to induce the calming effect.
Metaphorical imagery is a guided imagery exercise based in the yoga family in which you imagine metaphorical things occurring. When you are feeling stressed, you can use this type of imagery to reduce tensions and anxieties. For example, imagine yourself breathing in the feelings you desire, such as calmness and success, while you’re breathing out your stress and tension, reports Yoga Journal. This could be used before a big test or in a social situation where you don’t feel comfortable.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another exercise is progressive muscle relaxation. When you engage in this technique, you will need to be in a place where you can let yourself focus on the tensing and relaxing of your muscles. According to Help Guide, you will begin at the muscles found in your feet and then work your way through all your muscles up your body--legs, stomach, back, neck and face. You will tense each muscle progressively, paying full attention to the individual muscle. When you go to relax the muscle, imagine your tensions leaving your body as your muscles become relaxed, suggests Help Guide.
- Mayo Clinic: Relaxation Techniques: Learn Ways To Reduce Your Stress
- Yoga Journal: Use Your Imagination
- Help Guide: Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief Relaxation - Exercises and Tips
- Driediger, M., Hall, C., Callow, N. "Imagery Use by Injured Athletes: A Qualitative Analysis." Journal of Sports Sciences, March 2006
- Evans, L. Hare, R., and Mullen, R. "Imagery Use During Rehabilitation From Injury." Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, Vol. 1. 2006
- Ievleva, Orlick. "Mental Links to Enhanced Healing: An Exploratory Study." TSP, 5(1), March 1991.
Alia Butler holds a Master of Social Work from Washington University, St. Louis, concentrating in mental health, and a Master of Arts in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University. Currently, Butler is a freelance writer, penning articles focusing on mental health, healthy living and issues surrounding work-life balance. She is the principle/owner of ALIA Living, LLC, providing residential interior design services, professional organizing and life coaching.