Many people, especially the teenagers in our lives, use listening to music as a coping skill and stress management tool. So for this week’s self-care series installment, I will use music to walk you through a guided imagery exercise. You can also use guided imagery with any number of prompts in your environment, such as your favorite scented candle or your favorite item of clothing.
Guided Imagery Exercise with Music:
- Play one of your favorite songs.
- Be sure to breathe deeply (in through your nose, out through your mouth) the entire time.
- Close your eyes and choose from one or more of the following while listening to the song:
• Imagine your own music video that you would create for this song while deep breathing.
• Think about what the music notes or beat for the song would look like on paper.
• Draw what this song makes you feel or think of. No judgment on your drawing skills here. What’s important is the attempt, not the outcome. You don’t need to be Picasso. If you would still rather not draw, then just visualize what you would draw instead.
• Try to picture what colors each note or phrase would be. Does it change from purple to pink to red as the music crescendos? Are the slower parts blue?
Guided imagery also works for physical pain management. For example, if you have a headache or muscle spasm, you could imagine that your pain is your least favorite color. As you deep breath, imagine that the color drains out of you with each exhale.
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