• Relieve Anxiety with Imagery | Dr. Charlotte Reznick | Episode 196

  • Anxiety is increasing and teenagers are feeling the effects. It impacts their happiness, their activities, schoolwork, sleep, and more. As our kids deal with all of this, parents wonder how to reduce anxiety in teens. Do we talk to them about it? Change house rules? Dr. Charlotte Reznick has spent her career working with anxious children and teens. She helps them find the answers inside themselves then uses the power of their imagination to escape the anxious thoughts and feelings. She talks to Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler about how this works and why imagination is the key to helping kids reduce anxiety, how it related to meditation, what mindfulness is, and more. 

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    A Favorite Quote from the Show

    After working with me, a young client told her friend, “My fears come from my imagination so I had to go into that realm to fix it”.

    High Points From Our Conversation on Relieving Anxiety With Imagery:

    When our teens find answers inside themselves they feel good about it. They feel like they have control over their lives.

    Working with imagination is fun! We want life to be fun.

    Using imagery creates behavioral change. 

    A child was having trouble sleeping so she imagined a dragon wrapping itself around her and a tiger sitting by the door and she was able to sleep.

    Our fears come from our imagination so we can use our imagination to help us instead of hurting us.

    Meditation can be intimidating. Dr. Reznick uses basic meditation techniques in a simple, fun, and easy way. One technique she uses is taking balloon breaths—breathing below your belly button so that part of the belly rises and falls. Then play with it:

    • Take 3 balloon breaths with your eyes open. Take 3 breaths with your eyes closed. Now compare them.
    • See how few breaths you can take in a minute.

    Parents can help kids be less anxious. Start by really listening and not trying to fix things for them.

    Teens will often dump things on parents right before bed. Simply listen, validate their feelings and repeat back what they said so they know they’re understood. Then guide them back inside to find their answer. 

    Breathe to go inside and find your special place that makes you feel good and safe. This is a working environment where you can find your inner guidance. Guidance can come from animal friends, wizards, wise people, the older, wiser you, whoever you want. Then ask this creature or person, “How can I help myself?” They help you tap into your intuitive side.

    We have wisdom in our bodies and we can connect to that. The answers really are inside you. Centering helps you find them.

    Our kids won’t know the answer to everything but they can know how to find it inside themselves.

    The family values and skills are inside them along with other knowledge are inside them. But when we’re upset our brain shuts down the thinking portion of the brain. We can use breathing, meditation and other techniques to calm the amygdala in the brain so we can think again.


    5 Types of Self-Care for Teens | Kristi Hugstad | Episode 184

    The Power Of Agency To Turn Teens Around | Anthony Rao | Episode 141

    Relieving Coronavirus Anxiety | Sandy Fowler | Episode 120

    A Sneak Peek Inside The Teenage Mind | Valerie Grison-Alsop and Blanche Stora |  Episode 109

     Perspective on Preventing Bullying | Dr. Charlotte Reznick | Episode 18

    Our Guest Dr. Charlotte Reznick:

    Charlotte Reznick PhD is a foremost authority on how to engage with and develop mindfulness, meditation, and imagination for children and teens. She is author of the Los Angeles Times bestselling book, The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success and contributing author of the chapter “Imagery as a Therapeutic Tool with Children” to Transformative Imagery: Cultivating Imagination for Healing, Change, and Growth. Dr. Reznick is a child educational psychologist, a former UCLA Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, and was named Imagery International’s Person of the Year in 2012 for the global impact of her work. Dr. Reznick has a 30-year meditation practice, and is the creator of Imagery For Kids: Breakthrough for Learning, Creativity, and Empowerment, a mindful, positive coping skills program. In addition to her private practice in Los Angeles, California, she creates therapeutic meditation CDs for children, teens, and parents, blogs for Psychology Today and Huffington Post, is a frequent media consultant, and teaches workshops internationally on the healing power of child and adolescent imagination.

    To learn more, including watching her TEDx talk, or connect with our guest visit https://www.imageryforkids.com/ 

    From Our Sponsors: 

    Stressed moms have a harder time being the parent they want to be. Get Sandy’s free video lesson and discover 2 simple ways to relieve stress at http://sandyfowler.com/notime 

    Learn to talk to your teen in a way that creates connection with Sandy’s free email series at https://mightyparenting.com