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Daydreaming & Visualisation

Lots of people find visualising scenes such as a calming and safe place or a really lovely memory a helpful coping tool when they are feeling particularly anxious or distressed. It can be really helpful to start practicing it when you’re not feeling at your worst so that it will come more naturally and easily when you do need it in a time of crisis.

If you haven't tried visualisation before it might feel quite daunting. In this video, Dr Theresa Schwaiger describes how visualisation may help and offers advice on how to try it and has also created a 5 minute guided safe space visualisation for you to try below:

Try a 5 minute guided safe space visualisation

Dr Theresa Schwaiger has also created a short visualisation safe space exercise for children, young people and their families to introduce them to visualisation.  You can listen to this 5 min guided visualisation on Soundcloud.

This useful guide also gives you tips on how to start trying this out yourself- why not give it a go?

What young people have told us:

'It helped because I could feel, see, think, say, eat what I wanted to. I could picture myself at the beach, or in the clouds, or even in the woods, leaping from tree to tree. There was no one else, unless I wanted there to be. Even just having being visualising for 5 mins, I felt better!'

'I think it helped me with concentration and focusing and also noticing small details I hadn't noticed before.'

There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.