“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” ~Buddha
In the classes this week, we chatted a bit about guided visualisations and how they can help us to find the calm within.
A guided visualisation is a mind-body technique in which a child (or adult) is guided in mental images that aim to re-create a perceptual sensory experience for the child. Suggestions around sights, sounds, tastes, smells and movements are made. E.g. The narrator might say:” Close your eyes and imagine walking along a path in nature. Take a moment to listen to the sounds around you. Perhaps you can hear the wind in the leaves of the trees. Or perhaps you can hear a bird singing…”.
Guided visualisations aim to help children imagine alternative perspectives, thoughts, and behaviours. It is a powerful technique that can help a child use positive mental images to influence how they feel. It encourages a child to replace images that intensify feelings of fear, hopelessness or anger with images that emphasize capability, worthiness, fearlessness and greatness.
There are many different situations in which it may be helpful for a child to listen to a guided visualisation. Just before going to bed at night is often a favoured time. But it can also be useful for a child to listen to a confidence-building visualisation on the way to school in the morning, especially if there might be something happening at school that day that they are feeling anxious about. Another useful time is when a child first gets home from school. Often, they might have been “holding it together” at school and then everything seems to fall apart the moment they get home. Taking a few minutes of quiet time listening to a guided visualisation can help them to transition better from school to home.
Many of the children that attend Mindful Minis are familiar with the Mindful Moments for Minis Album that I produced last year. This album consists of 8 guided visualisations and is available at most online music stores such as iTunes and Google Play. There are also a number of other guided visualisations for kids available online. If you need further recommendations, just let me know and I can advise you.
This week, the children were led in a guided visualisation along a path in nature. Different image suggestions were made around sights, sounds, tastes, smells and movements, helping the children to fully immerse themselves in the visualisation. The visualisation then suggested that each child met an animal that had a message for them. A special message just for them that would help the seeds of happiness to grow in their hearts. The visualisation went on to suggest that at any time in the future if the child was feeling anxious, sad or afraid, they could remember their special animal and the message to help them feel better. After the visualisation, the children drew pictures to express their experience of the visualisation.
“The green forests are woven through your spirit
And the animals of the earth run in your veins.
Your heart is wild and your soul is free.
Never be tamed.” ~ Ara