When I was a younger, using my imagination was always stressed. It was especially helpful in reading fiction. You could use your imagination to see what the author was describing. Observe any little child playing and you will witness imagination being used. Children pretend to be certain people and do different things as a form of play.
Along the way I eventually stopped playing with my toys and pretending with my friends. I guess we started talking about boys instead. Unless you read fiction, your imagination doesn’t get exercised when you get older.
What a shame. I hear people say often, “I can’t imagine,” and “I won’t pretend to know what you are going through,” and things of that sort. I understand that saying you can’t imagine something is saying that the circumstances are heavy. Also, people don’t want to impose on how someone else is feeling or diminish what a person is going through in any way. But when people are going through tough times, we must use our imagination in order to feel empathy. Empathy is often expressed as, “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.”
I believe it is impossible to not use your imagination. So of course adults use their imaginations, but I think we can use it more. It doesn’t have to be associated with being a child.