The Ultimate Guide to Visualization Practice
What would you do if you could imagine your way to success? Would you focus on the big dreams you’ve written off as impossible? Maybe you would spend time each day picturing yourself with the lifestyle, career, and body you want. The closest thing to a genie in a bottle that grants your every wish already exists within you. All you need is an open mind and a minute of your time.
Visualization is an effective mindset tool that taps into the power of our imagination to bring our greatest goals and desires to life. A consistent visualization practice isn’t just another chore on your to-do list. When you approach visualization with excitement and unleash your creativity, you will be amazed at the mindset and life shifts that occur. Below are the top tips to make the most out of your visualization practice. Ready to have, do, and be anything you want?
Involve All of Your Senses
When you hear the word visualization, you likely think of vision. Although sight is the predominant sense activated during visualization, it should not be the only one. While you are using your mind’s eye to see yourself driving your dream car or sitting on a tropical island, enhance the experience by engaging all of your senses, like smell and hearing. Light a candle or incense that relaxes you. Play some meditation music or binaural beats.
The more immersed you are in the experience, the more you embody your future-self in the present moment. You can even use your sense of touch with a tangible object, like a crystal or trinket, to remind you to take a moment to pause and practice visualization. You don’t need to wait until you achieve your goals to start experiencing excitement and happiness now.
Feel Your Emotions
Without accompanying positive emotions, your visualization practice is just another way to pass the time. In order to truly manifest your desires, allow yourself to feel the physical sensation of gratitude in your body. When you experience gratitude, you may feel a sense of calmness, easy breathing, warmth in the body, or an automatic smile or tears.
If the physical sensation of gratitude doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t despair. Gratitude can be cultivated with intentional, consistent practice. Just like any new skill, the more you practice, the more easily and frequently you will experience these positive emotions. When you create a habit of expressing gratitude, you will feel so good that you won’t want to stop! Allowing yourself to feel positive emotions will ensure that you continue to feel them consistently.
Use Multiple Modalities
In addition to seeing your goals in your mind, create the opportunity for you to see them in your reality. One of the most common and exciting ways to do this is by creating a tangible vision board. Make a collage of all the things you desire and hang the board above your desk or next to your bed. The visual reminder of what you’re working toward every day will drive you to keep going.
Writing a detailed story with you as the main character is another powerful visualization tool. You don’t have to be a New York Times bestselling fiction author; simply write as if you have already achieved your goals in the present tense. What is your life like? How do you feel to have everything you’ve ever wanted? What do you get to do that brings you joy? Writing and reading back over your story evokes the positive emotions you would feel upon achieving your goals.
Mentally Rehearse Your Successes
Studies have shown that the subconscious mind cannot distinguish imagined thoughts from reality. Picture two co-workers who were just laid off from their jobs. The first co-worker panics and complains that he’s never going to be able to find such a good-paying job again. The second co-worker imagines herself impressing every company that interviews her, and is excited and grateful for the opportunity to find an even more fulfilling job. Which co-worker do you think will find a new job first?
The more you visualize yourself happy and successful, the more your brain will seek out such positive experiences. Mentally rehearsing successes is not just for Olympic athletes or motivational speakers. What does success look like to you? Imagine yourself achieving those successes, big and small, and feel all of the positive emotions that will result.
Learn Every Day
Being a lifelong learner has a lot to do with our ability to visualize. The more knowledge and awareness we have, the more accurately we can envision what we want our future to look like. Think of yourself at 10 years old. You likely did not have a clear idea of what you wanted to achieve in your life. In all the years since then, you’ve learned, grown, and gained a deeper understanding of what you like and want.
When we allow our intuition to guide us to learning more about the things that interest us, we create continuous opportunities to achieve success. Maybe you can’t stop thinking about picking up a certain skill or hobby. Go for it, and don’t forget to visualize yourself succeeding and having fun along the way.