Ancient yet Powerful, Visualization.
Visualization through visual imagery has been an effective way to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas since the dawn of humanity. It is an embodied and effortless part of humans like breathing. We do not give a thought to breathe but we breathe until our last day. The same way we do not consider visualization but our brain is constantly visualizing random things, some time to make us understand, some time to give us idea, some time to help survive. With modern science and research humans have invoked possibly every question, of how and why? Hence visualization is no exception. Many studies have been done regarding its purpose, benefits and how can we take more advantage from the visualization?
However before such studies also there were people who realized the great impact of visualization, therefore, used it as a tool. In fact, in the absence of visualization, no invention was possible. From the first ship to the first build house, before it became reality it was visualized by someone then put on paper or sand or in woods then eventually brought into life. So, the start of everything starts with visualization. Sadly, with the modern world, busy people, economy based happiness visualization meaning has been attached to some distant ideology or illusory theme. Contrary visualization is embedded within every human being, a great tool given by nature that can benefit in health, invention, creativity, innovation, anything you want to make a reality.
Does visualization really works?
On the article published on “Why Mental Rehearsals Work” in SA Mind which was based on five experiments conducted by scientist at the University of Oslo concluded, “The mental picture activates and strengthens the very neural circuits—even subconscious ones that control automated processes like pupil dilation—that you will need to recruit when it is time to perform.”
A new estimation of how many words an image is actually worth was calculated in an attempt to quantify the complicated biological process of image perception. The result revealed that an image is actually worth more than 30,000 words. This new value estimation provides insight into the power of images and helps us to answer why visualization is powerful.
In a study, Seventy-eight participants were divided into two groups. Group members were instructed to visualize a trauma scenario and how they would behave and function in a team while reviewing a provided script that contained guiding questions. Results suggest 20 minutes of mental practice translated to enhanced team behavior, including improved communication.
“When I get there, I’ve already pictured what’s going to happen a million times so I don’t actually have to think about it.” – Missy Franklin, Olympic Gold Medal Winning Swimmer
“Every time I feel tired while exercising and training, I close my eyes to see that picture, to see that list with my name. This usually motivates me to work again.” Michael Jordan, Basketball Player
“I think my imagination has always kept me going. I just imagined myself collecting awards. I just imagined myself getting big parts. That’s part of my inner magic. If I can see myself doing it, I can do it.” – Idris Elba OBE, Actor, Singer & Producer
Visualization is very powerful, the reason being the same it has been a tool from the past until this date used by great people to achieve their greatness. Yet not to be mistaken visualization works if you work for yourself. If you keep on visualizing losing 100 pounds but never exercise that is surely not going to happen. Visualization is before the action of the action to be taken after. Yes, there must be activated after the visualization. This is the reason, for many people visualization just remains as illusory because they do not take action afterward. The people who visualize and take action after achieving their goals. Interestingly enough in my recent book read, ‘The art of learning’ Josh Waitzkin describes during his one arm fracture how he used to visualize and feel the tension around the fractured arm while he was doing training with another arm. He was doing work by another hand but visualizing to transfer the tension to another and it worked for him.
If visualization is such a great tool then how harness its power?
Fortunately, it is not something you should abide by one law only or only this will work. It depends on the nature of a person. Maybe one can be very imaginative so he/ she can easily visualize even in a small amount of time whereas some might need a lot of time. Some might be able to visualize even in a busy place while some might need quite place so, it completely differs. However, there are some steps that are helpful to harness the power of visualization.
Four Steps for Visualization to Work.
- Discover Yourself
First, you have to discover yourself before going oh I want to be rich, now I will visualize about getting rich. What I mean by that is you must find if that is really what inspires you or you just want it because every other wants it. To get something and get the satisfaction achieving it, your whole body and mind should be aligned. Your body should respond to what you desire. Therefore discover means find what excites you, what kind of road would you prefer in life, luxury or simple or famous or happy or loved or healthy. To find this also you can use visualization, imagine all those and feel your body respond to your imagination. Imagine those struggles on the way to get there and notice for which goal you would be comfortable even to take the struggles. Discover which place suits you better to visualize the silent room, chair, on the floor on the bed, laying, sitting anything just try out and discover first.
- Clarity & Details
Once you discover what you want to visualize, what this is all about, you need to gather as many details as you can for you to be able to visualize it. You should have that clarity in your mind before you start to visualize because if you do not then your mind will take it as not true. Just like when we see something we are clear about color, texture, feel the same way you have to be clear about in your vision. As everything you are visualizing is real and happening in real-time with you. What exactly is the struggle? What exactly is the outcome? What exactly is the environment? Like VR nothing is real yet it feels like everything real, that is how you have to give clarity to your visualization.
3. Activate your senses
During your visualization not only your mind should work but your senses as well. Like you get chills while watching horror movies because you have immersed yourself into it. Exactly the same way you have to immerse yourself into your visualization with all senses. If you are receiving something in your visualization make your hand feel that, make your hand feel if it’s heavy or light. If it is regarding your health, try to feel that part of the body getting healthier and fresh. Once your sense is involved in your visualization then you are living that reality which later on motivates you toward that goal and also tricks your brain that something has already changed.
4. Believe in yourself
‘Your reality is a reflection of your strongest belief.’ Therefore you must believe in your goal. Unless you believe, visualization cannot do its miracle. However at the start, of course, it will be hard and there won’t be 100 % of belief but you have to keep your visualization more crisp and clear with active sense involved during your visualization in order to increase your belief. Also, you can take other steps to increase your belief, like if your goal is being businessmen then start with a small meet up of individuals like you. Or if you are seeing yourself running in the marathon but you never run a race then start meeting with runner group so you will feel like you are one of them. These help to make you believe that your goal is not far from you.
Hope this clears your doubts on visualization and will help you to harness your natural power in your advantage.
Another great article I found while researching.
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