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Are You Wondering How to Practice Visualization Techniques? We're Here to Help You

By Krista

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Last Updated: January 22, 2022

Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you make your goals and dreams a reality.

Through visualization meditation, you can practically jump forward in time and put yourself in the situation or outcome you want to experience. In turn, this can actually help make it happen (we aren’t kidding!).

So, kick back and relax. We’re about to learn all about visualization and everything you need to know to start using it in your life — starting today.

 

What is Visualization?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, visualization is “a formation of mental images and the act or process of interpreting in visual terms or of putting into visible form.”

And this truly is what visualization is. It’s all about closing your eyes and imagining what you want to happen, as well as how that would feel. 

Related Article: Turn Your Dreams Into Reality: 10 Reasons Why Visualization is a Powerful Tool

 

How Do Visualization Techniques Work?

You might be thinking, “Okay, great. Yes, I can visualize images in my mind!” But this isn’t the core of visualization techniques. 

Research shows that brain imagery helps improve the transmission between neurons in our brains. This means when you visualize something happening, your brain somewhat equates it to real-life action. In turn, this creates a neural pathway.

It’s very similar to if you were to practice the same skill over and over again.

Another way to think about it is that you are training your nervous system for what you want to happen. This means that it’s more likely it will. And it’s why pro athletes imagine themselves winning before stepping foot on the field (and also why it sometimes works!). 

For example, a pro baseball player might visualize himself hitting the winning ball. By doing so, he activates the neural circuits involved in this movement. As a result, it’s more likely to happen. 

 

How Can I Improve My Visualization?

The truth is that this all comes down to practice.

Practicing visualization on a regular basis can make you, well, better at it. So, let’s explore this a little more in-depth. What can you do to get good at visualization?

What Are Some Visualization Techniques? 

If you’re new to visualization meditation and techniques, try these activities out:

1. Guided Imagery Meditations

There’s actually a ton of guided imagery meditations online. However, you can also do your own. This involves:

  • Sitting in a comfortable position (as you would for any type of meditation).
  • Close your eyes and slow down your breathing.
  • Now, this is the fun part: Imagine a place where you feel totally calm, happy, and content. It can be any place, even imaginary. 
  • Choose at least three senses to engage throughout this process. Maybe you smell roses faintly in the distance or perhaps you can feel a warm breeze on your face. The goal is to really try to feel them as much as possible.
  • Next up, take a step forward into this world. Allow yourself to feel more calm and more content as you move forward into it.
  • Continue taking in those chosen senses and breathing slowly as you walk forward.
  • Continue feeling more calm and at peace.
  • When you’re ready, you can, then, open your eyes and finish your guided imagery meditation.

2. Progressive Relaxation Techniques

Progressive relaxation is wonderful for those with pent-up stress and anxiety.

It can help you let go of tension and completely relax your physical body. In turn, this can translate into relaxing your mind. This practice can also help you get better at becoming more physically in-tune with your body as you create imagery in your mind. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie flat on your back on a comfortable surface.
  • Gently close your eyes and allow your breathing to slow.
  • Starting at your toes or head, tense up each muscle group for one inhale and exhale.
  • Then, release the tensed up muscle group and relax fully.
  • As you do this, you can visualize your muscle tensing up, then completely relaxing and any stress melting away.
  • This whole process may take about 15-20 minutes. Go slow and don’t rush it to reap the full benefits!

3. Loving Kindness Meditation

This visualization exercise is all about spreading love to someone you know who might need it (as well as yourself). To do this:

  • Find a comfortable position and slow down your breath.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Visualize the individual you want to extend loving kindness and compassion toward. 
  • Think about how you view this person. You might feel love, mixed feelings, or even nothing at all.
  • Imagine the pain that they have had in their life.
  • Then, solely focus on the feelings you want to send their way. This might be peace, happiness, excitement, calm, joy, love, or anything else.
  • Keep breathing as you focus on that feeling. It can even help to repeat a mantra, such as “May you find joy, peace, and calm.” Find one that speaks to you and the feeling you are sending.
  • Do this for about two minutes.

4. Visualization Meditation

Now we get to the real thing! You can skip right to this exercise or do the above exercises to practice getting ready for this one. Here’s how you do it:

  • Write down or focus on one goal you want to accomplish.
  • Close your eyes and imagine that goal becoming real. Imagine it happening. How does that feel? What other details can you pull from the scene you’ve created? The more details and senses engaged, the better!
  • If you’re struggling with self-doubt, you can also throw a mantra into the mix. While visualizing the scene and focusing on your senses, you can also repeat a mantra such as “Yes, I can,” or another phrase that resonates with you.
  • Continue to focus on the scene you’ve created and your mantra for about 5-10 minutes. As you get better at this practice, you can even extend your visualization meditation to 10-20 minutes or more. 

Related Article: Vision Boards: Why You Should Make One & How To Do It

 

Visualize Your Goals, Then Take Action

Creative visualization can help you with that first step of making your dreams a reality.

However, it’s not the only step involved. You also have to take that first physical step toward your goals. Maybe that means joining that class or learning a new skill. 

At the same time, visualization can be a powerful way to make your goals come to life. Try it out. Does it work for you?

Read Next: Every Day of the Week Motivations & Inspirations for Your Best Week Yet

Photo by Ümit Yıldırım on Unsplash

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8 comments on “Are You Wondering How to Practice Visualization Techniques? We're Here to Help You”

  1. I really liked his teaching and presentation. The results of my daily practice of others I am writing to teach you. Thank you for everything you have given me.

  2. Thank you for this article. I have currently practicing mindfulness in my daily routine, and found it helps with juggling the busy life we live these days, especially us parents having the stress of our young ones.
    Visualisation is one thing I implmented years ago when I was on a health kick to lose weight without even knowing it was a thing. I would visualise myself walking into the gym looking like the way I wanted. Months later, I found myself there.
    Our minds have a ridiculous amount of power to our our physical self, and more and more people need to do it for the better of ourselves and others.

    1. Awesome feedback, James. We're so happy this resonated with you! And you are living proof of visualization working, thank you for sharing your success story with us. 🙂

  3. Thank you for educating me about visualization meditation. I’m excited to try all these techniques. Even though I’m an older adult, I hope it helps me to accomplish my goals and aspirations in life.

    1. Thanks Angela! You are never too old to motivate yourself! Wishing you luck on your journey and let us know how it goes!

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