Teens minds can get ultra cluttered with everything they have to deal with on a daily basis. So can adults minds, but hopefully by adulthood we have some skills to filter through all of it. (Of course, not everyone does, but even more reason to teach visualization techniques to young people!)
I love that teens get to take a break from their clutter and enter a more spacious part of themselves, a place where they have some control and power. The teens I have worked with request visualization practice often. It usually sounds something like this, “Miss Abby, can we go somewheres today?”
“Going somewhere” means taking a break from the normal, hurried routine. During visualization practices, teenagers have a chance to break free, something almost every teen wants and desires. The great news is this freedom is contained in a safe space, an “imagination vacation,” if you will.
I love hearing feedback from teens about their visualization experiences. One of my students all time favorite imagination vacations is a visualization wherein they get to construct a building using only their minds. (Audio Here.) I guide them to a serene space and then let them have a blast dreaming up their ideal structure. Some teens construct mansions complete with theaters, multi-car garages and elaborate pools. Others create rustic retreats using only sticks and mud. Still others choose creative constructions like glass pyramids and eco-domes. I learn about my students from the information they bring back from their journeys.
It’s not all fun and games, though. Useful, meaningful benefits result from visualization practices for teens.
1. Teens shift from stress to relaxation response.
2. Teens need for adventure and risk are satisfied safely.
3. Teens have an opportunity to dream and practice creating their reality. These skills contribute to resilience.
To learn more about the technique of guiding teens in visualization, see this post.