To visualize is to build a picture or series of pictures in your mind. These images or scenes can be of people, places, events or situations. You can visualize other things besides images, such as voices, smells, tastes and sounds. The state of your mental attitude will determine whether the things you visualize are positive or negative. For example, if you are a constant worrier the chances are you will visualize problems and difficulties. On the other hand, if you are generally positive in your outlook, your visualization will likely make you an even more positive and optimistic person than you already are. Everyone visualizes every day, although most people are unaware that they’re doing it. Whenever we read a book, give directions to someone, look for a solution to a problem or make general plans for the day, the week or for longer, we are using our visualization skills.
Visualization brings a number of benefits to those who actively engage in it. To begin with, it is a useful tool for reducing stress. Visualizing your day while listening to slow, gentle music helps you to organise your thoughts, prepare you mentally for the tasks ahead and lower your stress level considerably. You can also lie on your back and visualize all your stress, worry, anxiety and other negative thoughts concentrating in your head. Then, imagine it slowly pouring down your entire body, starting from your ears and eventually making its way down your entire body.
As you picture the stress leaving you, you may even feel a sensation travelling down your body. If that sounds a little too strange for you, trying visualizing yourself in a situation that causes you stress but that you are facing it in a calm and relaxed manner. Repeat this several times each day and you will soon realise your stress levels are dropping.
Visualization is also used to increase motivation. If you visualize yourself accomplishing the things you want to do and the feelings of elation and satisfaction that accompany them, you will increase your motivation to achieve your goals. You will find yourself believing that success is more realistic and achievable and you will set yourself on a path towards it. Depending on how low your motivation is when you start, you may wish to begin by visualizing simple things like getting out of bed or preparing a meal or taking a shower. Once you have reached the stage where you are performing these tasks regularly, begin to visualize more ambitious goals.
If you are a creative person, visualization can be a pivotal tool in your creative process. If you are a painter, you need to visualize what you intend to paint on the canvas before you start. If you have a solid image of what you want the finished product to look like before you start and during the painting process it is highly likely you will be pleased with the end result. If you are a writer, you need to envision your characters, plots, dialogue and scenery. All these must come from the imagination and the visualization process can greatly enhance this and enable you to see afresh the things you want to include in your story. The stronger the images and scenes in your head, the more likely it is that you will be able to faithfully transfer them to the page.
Every day, we have an inner conversation with ourselves Visualization will help you to choose your thoughts carefully and avoid overly critical attitudes towards yourself. Visualize treating yourself fairly, accepting when you go wrong, learning from your mistakes and going through each day with a positive outlook. By doing this, you will open the door for positive thoughts to enter your mind and settle there. This is not an overnight process. It needs to be maintained over time. To begin with, you will feel happy but as time progresses you will find yourself making decisions that will enhance the overall quality of your life.
Visualization can also help you to change your habits and replace old ones with new ones. First, you must envision yourself in a scenario which would trigger the habit or behaviour that you wish to change and then visualize yourself behaving in the way you would wish to. You must repeat this visualization practice over and over again. What this does is cement the behaviour into your subconscious and soon enough you will find yourself behaving in that way for real.
Visualization is also an important tool in viewing the world and other people. For example, it can help you to see certain things from various points of view and contemplate various approaches in achieving something or resolving a matter. Ultimately it can help you to decide on the best course of action to take and removes any and all limitations that you may have previously had.
If you visualize regularly, your mind begins to focus and you are less likely to be distracted by minute things in your life. This is especially the case if you set aside a specific time of the day in which to visualize. You train your own mind to focus in spite of everything else that is going on around you. This level of focus also helps you to identify more opportunities that may be useful to you in achieving your goal.
As mentioned before, anyone can visualize. It is not a specialist skill that requires time or specific training to obtain. What matters most is the quality of the visualization and this depends on how often you allow yourself to visualize. Everyone is different and everyone has different ways of doing things. Ultimately, it is what works for you that matters most. As long as your mind is pointing towards the direction you want to go in, you will get there in time. So why not try a little visualization today?
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