In my last post we looked at what visualisation was and why it worked. But now it’s time for the fun stuff – HOW TO DO IT! And yes, despite what you may believe, visualisation is something that we can all learn to do effectively.
But before we get onto that, let’s recap what we explored in the previous post.
- Research has shown that mental rehearsal can be just as effective as performing the activity physically. When we visualise a future goal or something we want to create, the brain directs our neurons to “perform” the action. This lays down a new neural pathway to store the learned behaviour and that prepares our body to act consistent with what we imagined.
- Your mind can’t tell the difference between image and reality (think of how you flinch during scary scenes at movies), you will already have a head start when you take action toward your goals.
- By imprinting the belief in your mind that what you want has already happened through visualisation, you can let go of all that excessive doubt and worry. From the space that is cleared up you can begin to focus on how to make it happen.
- Positive imagery enhances motivation, increases confidence and performance and primes you for success. Your energy will more more productive and positive meaning you realise your dreams quicker.
Visualization is simple and enjoyable. It is a place where you can let your imagination run wild. You sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine — in as much detail as you can — what you would be looking at if the dream you have were already realized. Imagine being inside of yourself, looking out through your eyes at the ideal result.
Over the years, many of the people I meet and work with worry that they can’t visualise because they don’t have a very vivid imagination. Not only does this create unnecessary anxiety, but sets up the expectation to fail. So I ask them to describe their living room to me? Or direct me from the tube station to their house. Or describe to me their favourite meal. Well that IS visualisation! But visualisation doesn’t need to be a photo perfect image that you see in front of your eyes. It’s much more about the intention and energy behind it. You can even use language to bring the image closer to life, make it more realistic. Yes, it’s a skill that can take patience and practice to develop, but anyone can visualise.
So are you ready to begin realising your dreams?
- Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes
- Let go of your day, your expectations and give yourself the permission to be fully present
- Become aware of how you are feeling in this moment and relax the parts of you that feel discomfort or disease
- Bring your awareness to the breath and let it guide you into a state of relaxation, breathe in pure relaxation, breathe out the tension
- Imagine yourself sitting alone in a movie theater, the lights dim. Use your senses to bring this image to life, see the colours and the textures. Are the chairs comfortable? Is there a particular smell?
- And then the film starts. It is a movie of you achieving your desire. (remember, it’s okay if you don’t have a photo perfect image in your mind, it’s the intention behind that counts). So if you want to run a marathon in under 4 hours, see the time as you cross the finish line. If have a presentation at work to do, see yourself standing confidently delivering it perfectly. Or maybe you want to improve your tennis serve, see the exact movement, the swing. See as much detail as you can create, including your clothing, the expression on your face, small body movements, the environment and any other people that might be around
- It might be a short clip repeated over and over or it might be a longer movie but notice the way you move, the way you talk and interact
- When are ready, get up and see yourself walking up to the screen. As you approach a hidden door appears. You open it and enter the movie. See the movie from inside of yourself, seeing things through your eyes. Notice how the colours become brighter, see the textures and forms from a new perspective. Hear the sounds from around you
- Become aware of how it feels to behave and act in this way. Notice how it feels to talk and interact as this version of you. How does your voice sound? How does it feel to be this version of you? Be present in this experience for a few moments, continuing to notice as much as you can
- Walk back through the secret door and return to your seat in the movie theatre. Shrink the screen down until it’s the size of a pea. Reach out, grab the screen and place it on your tongue. Let it dissolve, permeating every cell, molecule, fibre of your being. Imagine this image of your flowing through your bloodstream and circulating around your entire body. Sense this image merging with you, becoming you
- Enjoy this feeling for a few moments
- Become aware of your body once again. Gently bring some movement into the fingers and toes as you reawaken
You can do this visualisation for as long or as little as you like, just as long as you keep your focus clear and the image present in mind. I assure you that you’ll notice the difference in how you feel, act and think f you commit to this practice everyday.
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