How Can Visualization Help You?
When you visualize you use your imagination to create a powerful motivational image in your mind. Imagination is an ability that everyone has, though few of us make full use of its enormous potential. Many people, however, use their imaginations to help conjure all the horrible things that could happen. Individuals catastrophize about what could happen and in doing so conjure all the negative emotions that accompany the imaginary disasters.
You can use visualization to harness the power of your imagination to guide yourself toward well-thought-out actions. Said actions are designed to keep you safe and improve your quality of life.
When you visualize, your objective is to imagine yourself engaged in positive action scenes in place of self-destructive, impulsive reactions to stressors. A well-visualized scene acts as a model for your behavior to follow. It motivates you to match your behavior to that model. It also helps you to confront your tendency toward negative trains of thought, which is one of the consequences of the distorted self-image conditioned by your past experiences. In fact, the main obstacle that you need to overcome in order to employ visualization is your tendency toward negative thinking. A negative state of mind causes you to always expect the worst, even though you may say otherwise to yourself and others. Negative thinking says, “I can never learn this!” and “It won’t work anyway, it’s stupid!” Negative thinking has one purpose only: to keep you trapped in the Borderline Zone.
Visualization places the behavior principles of modeling and correspondence training to work for you. Visualization is a behavioral model to which you match (or correspond) your actions. This means that you do what your visualization model says you will do. When you execute the visualized action successfully, your success positively reinforces your use of the Visualization technique. Consequently, this will automatically strengthen your desire to use this technique again. The more you use visualization the less impulsive and unpredictable your actions become. As you may have guessed, visualization will help you become a more consistent person.
Check out the Basic Steps of Visualization below and experience firsthand the significant effects you can have on your own mind.
- Close your eyes.
- Begin your Slow Deep Breathing (SDB) routine while using your key phrase discussed in previous articles. Continue until your stress level drops below 4 on your scale.
- Now imagine yourself executing a series of actions that produces a desirable outcome. Imagine as much detail as possible. Imagine as much detail as possible. See yourself doing the actions. See where you are. See who you are with. Hear the sounds. Smell the odors. See what you are wearing.
- As negative thoughts enter your mind, squeeze your knees, say your key phrase, and return to your visualization.
- Once you have imagined all of the details of your action sequence, assign it a “trigger word,” such as “Project Jump Start.” You will use this trigger word to get yourself started on the execution of your action sequence once the time presents itself.
- Close your visualization session with five repetitions of the positive affirmation “ I want it; do it!”
If you found these 6 basic steps of visualization helpful and are interested in taking your imagination skillset to the next level or have any questions on how to execute the techniques, speak with a Blue Sky Behavioral Health Professional today.