Many people know about visualisation and how powerful it is. People have been using visualisation for years to achieve success. From overcoming fears, building self-confidence, to elite sport athletes using it to improve their technical skills or visualising strategic game plays and even to aid injury healing. The Australian Institute of Sports have combined visualisation within float tanks for years for the ultimate impact.
Visualisation is powerful in helping you to accomplish something you don’t believe you can do and overrides the beliefs that have held you back i.e. public speaking. For me it’s been critical to losing over 20 kgs in a year., something I have never been able to achieve previously. It has allowed me to relax my body and mind to see myself in a successful state for my goal. How do you get started?
3 TIPS TO HELP VISUALISE EFFECTIVELY:
Set an intention, close your eyes and say what you want to achieve.
Imagine the situation and future event you want to work on and incorporate strong positive emotions around it. Use all 5 senses to get the most intense experience: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Add these to you image.
Repeat the process often, the way to get better at visualisation is to practice.
HOW IT WORKS
Scientists believe that our mind experiences real activities or an imagined activity in similar ways. Whether we hike the Kokoda trail or only picture ourselves hiking it, we activate many of the same neural networks. Such visualisations stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, our fight-or-flight response, and causes increases in heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.
So simply envisioning an activity/movement elicits nervous-system responses comparable to those recorded during real physical execution of the same activity/movement. Amazing!
If your challenge is more mental than physical i.e. handling a difficult conversation—visualisation can help keep you calm and focused. Mentally picturing and rehearsing a steady assertiveness in yourself, while the other person is ignoring or distracting you, can help you attain your goal. Your mind and body work best in a calm state, envisioning this calmness may also decrease physical symptoms of stress, like an increase in heart rate or stress hormones in the real event.
When you repeatedly imagine performing a task, you may also condition your neural pathways so that the action feels familiar when you go to perform it; it’s as if you’re carving a groove in your nervous system. Finally, on a purely psychological level, envisioning success can enhance motivation and confidence.