Think of positive visualization as a “mental rehearsal” that we carry out in our minds. It is like a daydream but more focused on the goals that we want to achieve. Positive visualization, much like its name, talks about focusing on the positives in life and that practice supposedly makes even herculean tasks look achievable.
You could also say that positive visualization is a technique to affect real-world situations by using the power of positive thinking. The key is to visualize a situation even before it happens to you. Once you know your goal, you focus on the step by step specifics that you will need to achieve it.
But does positive visualisation even work? Well, a study published in the December 2005 issue of Psychological Bulletin, examined studies of over 275,000 people and found that the happiest people owe their success, in part, to their optimism and positive outlook.
Dr. Lyubomirsky, head researcher from UC Riverside in light of the research said: “When people feel happy, they tend to feel confident, optimistic and energetic and others find them likeable and sociable. Happy people are thus able to benefit from these perceptions.”
But if you are still not convinced, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of positive visualization:
It can be a source of hope and inspiration
During times when you have hit a low, positive visualization keeps you from feeling defeated and hopeless. It energizes and inspires you rather than let you feel hopeless. Once you start visualizing about success and happy times and have a positive outlook about the situation, there’s no headspace left to sob over the spilt milk
It boosts self-confidence
By visualising ourselves having and doing the things we need to succeed, we feel more confident in ourselves. And the more confident we feel, the more likely we are to make the decisions that need to be taken for us to succeed.
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It improves your focus
When you visualize the same things again and again, it tends to improve your focus. Once you work on thinking about one thing and focusing upon it, you will realize that your brain is generally getting more and more focused due to all the mental exercise that it has been doing.
But how can you practice positive visualization?
Remember that positive visualization is not a shortcut or a substitute for practice, determination, and hard work. However, it strengthens your determination and hence is an essential tool for achieving your desired goals. If you find yourself struggling with self-doubt and lacking motivation, positive visualization will do the trick for you.
Chalk out the steps you need to go through to achieve your said goal and imagine yourself going through that process. The more accurate and real the details are, the better. By doing this you are simulating the experience in your head.
Remember to add emotion to your visualization. Imagine yourself to be taking charge and visualize how it feels. To be able to feel that calm and that independence, to be able to visualize that sense of accomplishment is very important. This helps your brain build a muscle memory against tougher times and challenges.
Here are some ways to aid the process of positive visualization:
Meditation: You can always either meditate by yourself or to a guided tape. Meditation helps you focus on your breathing and on your thoughts and gives you the headspace to visualize your wants and your goals.
Guided audio programs: There are guided audio programs that help you to reach success in positive visualization.
Vision boards: A vision board is a home-made poster with images and phrases to help remind you of the positive behavioural changes you seek. Make as many boards as it takes and place them at places where you would come across them every now and then. Remember that these images should not trigger negative thoughts or memories.
So give the process of positive visualization a shot to bring some positive changes in your life.