The benefits of visualization are many! New research focuses on what sets winning top athletes apart from average athletes, or what defines the most skilled and top performing employees in a corporation. And the answer is actually quite simple. High performers visualize their goals and targets – every day!
A great benefit of stating to think in images and using your imagination on a more regular basis is that you can communicate your ideas way faster and with less redundancy! People understand your meaning much faster, when they have the same picture in mind that you have.
What is visualization?
Visualization means to bring to life images in your mind. And it’s a powerful technique that aids you in manifesting the things and experiences that you would like to have in your life. It’s sort of like very focussed daydreaming meditations.
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The purpose of visualizing your goals is to pave the way in your subconscious mind to accepting your success as inevitable! Said more simply you’re pre-programming your brain into believing that what you want to achieve is going to happen. It’s a proven fact that visualization techniques can boost your performance and enable you to reach your goals quicker and with less effort. Sound’s pretty good right, but how does it work?
Your body can’t tell the difference
By creating images in your mind, you’re creating new neural pathways in your brain. The newest research show that when we use the imagery of our brain, the neurons (the electrically excitable cells that transmit information) interpret the images as if they were ”real-life” action. That means you’re making your body experience your succes before it has happens.
New studies show that patients who go through visualization sessions everyday (visualizing contracting specific muscles in their broken limb) loose 50 percent less strength during their month in casts than those patients that don’t use visualization techniques!
Break through the mental block
This means that when you visualize a goal, you create a neural pathway in the brain. The brain generates impulses that tell your neurons to perform movement or action. The brain cells actually work together to create memory and learned behaviors. This primes your body to act in the way you imagined. In other words you’re setting yourself up for success. That way you break the cognitive dissonance rising when you try to achieve something you don’t think is quite possible – or maybe you think you don’t deserve.
Visualization also helps to reduce stress, because the practice is very similar to meditation. It’s a form of relaxation where you let your mind rest while still using it actively. And the images you create in your mind instantly puts to rest the cognitive dissonance you might experience during the day – and you reach the state where alpha waves are present in your brain.
Alpha waves are present when your brain is in an idle default-state. This state can be created by daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation. The “normal” state of the brain during a workday is on the contrary beta waves. This is when your attention is engaged in problem solving and decision making.
Four simple steps to get started
The easiest way to get started is surrounding yourself with print design, images and mantras that inspire your and creates positive images in your mind. Most people find written out mantras very comforting and invigorating. Create a place in your life, where you know you can relax and be yourself fully – with all your dreams and goals.
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- Free up 10 minutes of your day (preferably morning or evening)
- Find a relaxing place to sit down or lie down.
- Close you eyes, breathe deeply into your stomach
- Focus beyond the blurry brown behind your eyelids. In your minds eye wiggle your toes while wiggling them in real life too…