Your brain cannot differentiate well between real action and mental action. Studies show that thinking about an action will fire the neural pathways in your brain just as you were actually doing it. Mental training can improve almost all our skills and fast-track us towards our goals. Visualization can be a powerful technique to help you unwind, relieve stress, and even fall asleep. It is important that instead of focusing on your anxious, fearful images, you use visualization to focus on calming and restful images.
Using visualization techniques to focus on your goals and desires yields four very important benefits:
Visualization activates your creative subconscious which will start generating creative ideas to achieve your goal.
Visualization programs your brain to more readily perceive and recognize the resources you will need to achieve your dreams.
Visualization activates the law of attraction, thereby drawing into your life the people, resources, and circumstances you will need to achieve your goals.
Visualization builds your internal motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve your dreams.
Visualization Tips for Beginners
Here you will find 7 visualization tips for beginners to help you on your way:
Try not to overthink things - put little or no mental effort into the process.
Use all your senses - you will experience the best results from the practice if you use all your senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Using all your senses and noticing as many details about the scene that you are picturing as possible can help give you a much more vivid experience.
Don't judge yourself about getting distracted - remember this is completely normal and happens to everyone at some point.
Make sure you’re relaxed - when you’re in a relaxed and open state, the imagery and feelings you’re trying to cultivate within your practice will come more naturally and you will have a better experience.
Have a regular visualization practice - try to make it a priority in your life by setting aside 10 minutes each day for your practice.
Connect with the emotion of visualization - each time you visualize just let whatever feelings and emotions arise come naturally to you.
Visualize with a sense of knowing - to get the most out of visualization we need to have a sense of expectation that what we are seeing when we visualize, can, and will happen in our lives.
Find a photograph and analyze it. Memorize every detail you can. Then simply close your eyes and try to recreate it in your mind as much details as you can.
Take up a small object. Analyze all the details and memorize them.
Recreate your little object, but with your eyes open. See it in the real world, right in front of you. Again, move it around, rotate it, play with it.
Think of a pleasant location and imagine yourself in it. It’s important to be in the scene, not just thinking of it.
Bring up the mental location from the previous exercise. Now — begin moving around, interacting with things.
Visualization in Sports
Visualization in sports is a way of conditioning for your brain for successful outcomes. The more you mentally rehearse your performance, the more it becomes habituated in your mind. When athletes use visualization, they not only see the action unfold but truly feel the event take place in their mind’s eye. Muhammad Ali’s famous quote “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it” already shows that he truly believed in the power of visualization. But he’s not the only one who used visualization in his successful sports career. Arnold Schwarzenegger was also a big believer in visualizing how he wanted to look like and kept on imagining it. Later on, he used the same technique in politics and acting.