The Award Winning Anxiety-Free Child Program provides information and resources to help your child overcome their anxiety FAST.
Guided imagery is a simple and highly effective relaxation technique that prompts you to imagine meaningful images to help achieve a particular goal, which may be as straightforward as alleviating anxiety and stress. A guided imagery session can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more, although anxious kids and younger children may do best with a stint that lasts about 3 to 5 minutes, at least for starters.
Meditation is also a relaxation technique but, instead of following a guide of sorts, you instead focus on your breath, a rock, or whatever you choose. Both meditation and guided imagery can help alleviate stress and anxiety, although imagery takes some of the challenge of trying to quiet the mind by giving you something to think about. Guided imagery gets another plug for being able to skip over the logical brain’s natural defenses and go right the intuitive part of the brain, allowing kids to speak from their hearts.
In addition to beating adult and child anxiety, guided imagery has been helpful for quelling fears, getting through difficult situations and quashing insomnia. Researchers have definitely hopped on the guided imagery bandwagon, presenting a slew of studies that suggest it can be golden for a number of issues and conditions. A study out of University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Department of Medicine checked out the affect of guided imagery on 22 people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or panic disorder.
Clinical Psychology Review published a study that pointed to GI and other relaxation techniques as being the most effective form of CBT for alleviating panic disorders, generalized anxiety, test anxiety and even dental phobia. Children’s abdominal pain took a hike with guided imagery in a study entitled published in Pediatrics. The conclusion was that imagery coupled with medical care was “superior to standard medical care only for the treatment of abdominal pain, and treatment effects were sustained over a long period.” The GI group also had a higher rate of participation in their overall treatment plans than those who received medical care alone. Cancer patient studies included one out of Virginia that showed that imagery reduced anxiety prior to operations and reduced pain after them. Numerous studies also showed guided imagery results in psychological and physiological changes in the body. The study randomly assigned each of 12 men to either a GI group or a music group then measured changes in their heart rates during the centrifuge training as well as their relaxation and anxiety levels before GI or music, after GI or music and after centrifuge training. Using Reznick’s five-stage model as your framework, you can create a personalized script for your anxious child or otherwise lead them with your voice.

Before you hit that play button or begin your narration, make sure you set the stage for a peaceful, quiet, uninterrupted session. Important DisclaimerAll material provided on this website is provided for informational or education purposes only. In this guided meditation with master flautist and meditation teacher Rodrigo Tarraza, you will take a journey to the still calm center that lives in the silent depths of you and every human being.
If you are unsure about the power of meditation to decrease your stress and anxiety, there are countless benefits, and new research is emerging all the time that reveals the power of mindfulness meditation to counter the negative effects of stress.
If you have questions about meditation, you can refer to our Frequently Asked Question guide for new meditators.
Get our Meditation Made Easy Beginners Guide along with weekly articles and free resources delivered to your inbox. Guided imagery can take you up staircases into the clouds, down staircases and back to reality, or on a wonderful, winding walk that takes you far from your daily worries and woes. If the goal is to provide a sense of calm, for instance, you can use calming images of the beach or warm bed. Our mindfulness guide offers a more extended explanation of meditation, and you could look at guided imagery for kids or adults as a type of meditation, or being meditation-based. This is especially helpful for anxious children who may find their minds wandering to their last spelling test, their next math test or any number of other items screaming for their attention.
Researchers found 20 of the 22 experienced a reduction in panic symptoms as well as a decrease in anxiety and depression.
The study specific looked at 34 children diagnosed with functional abdominal pain, assigning a group of the 6 to 15-year-olds to two months of home-based guided imagery on top of their regular medical care. The Huffington Post reports patients who engaged in guided imagery generally had shorter hospital stays, a decreased need for pain medication and less severe somatic symptoms, such as vomiting.
One example published in the journal Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine involved centrifuge training, a method of enhancing hypergravity training for cosmonauts and pilots. Trying a bit of imagery on your own before passing it along to your anxious child is a good idea, as is explaining the purpose and process of guided imagery. This means shutting off your cell phone and other distractions and finding a comfortable area for you and your anxious child to sit.

Encourage him to recall those feelings at any time throughout his day when he’s feeling anxious, fearful or stressed for an instant sense of calm. No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. These free guided meditations will help you develop inner tools to combat anxiety and stress.
Start meditating today and release the source of your stress with these proven meditation techniques.
Not only does guided imagery, or GI, take you far away from the cacophony of daily life, it can take you just as far away from the worries in your brain while offering a host of benefits, especially for the anxious child.
It also technically falls under the category of mind-body relaxation techniques and can be viewed as a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Instead of telling kids to “clear their minds,” their minds instantly become focused on the guide. It’s also helped people lose weight, quit smoking, prepare for surgery or medical procedures. Have him put all his anxiety and worries in a big basket at his special place where they will stay and be processed into happy thoughts.
Through this meditative journey, you will discover a deep source of peace and quiet within.
One of the top benefits is leaving your anxiety in the dust right along with the daily chaos. Whether we struggle emotionally or through diminished health, stress and anxiety take a toll on us all.
Anger management, depression, heart disease and post-traumatic stress are other ways to utilize the technique uses and it’s even been shown to be helpful for people with cancer.

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