These images can be inspected or transformed and then understand the associated feelings with that image to experience a more beneficial emotion, which can help deal with pain, loss, etc.
Too complex? Let me simplify it.
Creative visualization means creating an image or a scene or imagining something in your mind, with eyes open or closed.
That image or scene or imagination is then used to replace any pain or cope with any loss, by attaching a positive feel to it.
But creative visualization is not simply about dealing with pain or loss.
It also helps boost self-esteem, improve moods, fight anxiety etc.
Our minds can imagine some fascinating things.
These things do not need to be real or even make sense. If it is imaginable, our minds will imagine it.
The power of creative visualization lies in its ability to affect our psychological, physiological and social behaviour.
Kinds of Images
The brain is capable of creating two kinds of images. Let us look at them in detail:
1. Visual Imagery
This form of creative visualization is where an image can be seen, voices can be heard and at times you may even feel the effects.
Most creative visualization involves visual imagery.
Many times when we imagine a beach or some form of water, we see in our minds a beautiful shore, the sound of the ocean and if you are quite the imaginative one, you even feel the sand beneath your feet!
2. Non-Visual Imagery
This is when there is no picture formation in the mind. But all other senses together help one imagine.
So when a trained musician tunes his instruments or tries to remember a music piece, it is non-visual imagery that comes into play.
He can hear the sound or feel the strings of the instrument and judge if everything is in tune or not.
Creative visualization has an extremely strong impact on people.
The way we think, react, behave, etc. can be modified with the help of creative visualization. Let us now look at the benefits of creative visualization.
Benefits of Creative Visualization
First of all, the benefits of creative visualization are felt in all spheres of life.
It is widely used in treatments and other situations where these kinds of creative visualizations come in handy.
• Therapeutic Benefits
In the case of various psychological disorders, a person is subject to creative visualization.
If a person is suffering from an anxiety disorder, they are asked to visualize serene, calm and soothing scenes.
The sounds of the sea are played and they are asked to calm down, imagining a seashore. This helps them calm down, without using any medication.
When a person is going through physical pain, they are asked to visualize painless and pleasant things, while the other medication takes effect.
This is done because when in pain, constant attention to the pain makes it seem worse than it is.
• Forgetting Fear
Very often people get cold feet at the very last minute.
This is natural, but it becomes a hindrance to their performance.
Be it on stage, in an exam hall or anywhere. To handle such a situation, one can visualize post-victory scenes.
This helps us to get over last-minute jitters and give our best.
• Morale Booster
Every once in a while, our morale goes down. We feel low and not motivated enough to get things done.
Through creative visualization, we can convince our minds to imagine all the glory and prizes that await us at the end of the activity.
This helps us get up and at least start.
The same visualization also helps us complete tasks once we start them.
• Mood booster
Naturally, if we are becoming more confident, relieving stress and experiencing more joy then our mood is going to be positive as well.
When we daydream of all those things that make us happy, we automatically put into motion, the process of forgetting our problems.
Stages of Creative Visualization
1. Image Generation
Here the image comes into being. We begin imagining and forming a mental image, sometimes from memory, sometimes from fantasy and sometimes from both.
2. Image Maintenance
Here we try to keep the image alive. Our mind is prone to forgetting easily.
So, this step is all about maintaining and keeping the image alive in our minds, long enough to see it as real.
3. Image Inspection
Now, our mind may be forgetful, but it has great attention to detail. So the next step involves a thorough inspection of the image to make it seem as real as possible.
This involves comparing the image to other mental images and our real experiences.
(Yeah… the mind does all that. And here we thought only we multitask!)
4. Image Transformation
This is the last and most important step. Making it real. The image which was only part of the mind is now experienced by the mind and body alike.
The effects of the imagery, be it soothing, calming, relieving, etc. are all felt and enjoyed in the last step.
Creative visualization is much more difficult than we give our minds credit for.
It can often be a draining experience, physically and emotionally. But when we do it, when we achieve creative visualization, we are often left with a sense of deep calm and serenity.
Problems seem to solve themselves and we are left feeling relaxed.
Practising Creative Visualization
You can do this by painting, drawing, writing, or even using your computer to create images.
Some people will like this visualization technique since it allows them to express their aims and desires creatively.
You may hang your work anywhere you can view it, just like a vision board.
Making the painting yourself will make it even more personal and one-of-a-kind to you.
To create the life you want, you must first understand what you want.
What would you do in your ideal life if there were no constraints or limitations? Where would you live?
Who would be surrounding you? What primary emotions would you experience? What does your highest and most authentic self look like?
Perhaps no better example of the power of visualization than Michael Phelps’ Olympic success.
It’s no secret that Phelps put in countless hours of practice, sometimes without a single day off for years at a time.
What you may not know is his dedication to visualization practice.
Phelps spends two hours a day mentally rehearsing for an upcoming race for months before a big event.
He sees himself overcoming obstacles to win the race, and he visualizes both the good and the bad.
He’s already swum it hundreds of times in his head by the time he dives into the pool on race day.
So, what motivates elite athletes and performers to devote so much time to visualization?
It could be related to the way our brains work.
Your brain, you see, can’t tell the difference between powerful visualization and reality; it performs the same activity whether you’re physically performing the action or imagining it in your mind.
How to Visualize
You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to use visualization to improve your life.
Set aside ten minutes each day to close your eyes and visualize yourself achieving your objectives. How does it make you feel? Joyful? Peaceful? Freeing?
Feel those feelings. Use all of your senses. Visualize yourself living your ideal life.
Listen, feel, taste, and smell. You can even imagine some worst-case scenarios and visualize yourself overcoming these obstacles, as Phelps did.
You’ll be amazed at the transformative effects of this daily practice on your life once you begin it.
Watch this TEDx talk by Ashanti Johnson on how her daily practice of visualization changed not only her life but ultimately the lives of her community through her work, to demonstrate the power of visualization.
How To Use the Power of Creative Visualization To Improve Your Health
Creative visualization is an art that has been used by many people to help them with their health and well-being.
It is also known as visualization. It is the process of using your mind to create an image or a mental picture in your mind.
This image can be anything, it can be an actual scene, a feeling, a sound, a smell, or even a thought.
The point is to get yourself into a state where you can see what you want to see, feel what you want to feel, hear what you want to hear and smell what you want to smell.
When you can do this, you will be able to make your dreams come true.
This will give you more confidence, a clearer vision of what you want to achieve, and a better chance of getting it.
There are three steps to creative visualization:
1) Create a mental image
2) Let go of all other thoughts
Creating a Mental Image
When you are creating your mental image, you are trying to imagine something without actually seeing it.
You need to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. You must be very specific about what you want to see, hear, feel, smell, or touch.
So you need to know exactly how you want things to be. Once you have this, you can begin to visualize it.
Letting Go of All Other Thoughts
As you begin to create your mental image, you must let go of all other thoughts.
If you are having trouble doing this, you can use affirmations.
Affirmations are statements that you say to yourself, such as, “I am confident,” or “I am healthy.”
They are meant to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. You can also try visualizing a white light.
As you concentrate on the white light, you can gradually let go of all other thoughts until there is nothing but the white light.
You may find that it is difficult to relax when you first start.
Of course, you may find that you are tensed up, or that you are having a hard time letting go of other thoughts.
Try taking deep breaths and concentrating on relaxing each part of your body one at a time.
Concentrate on the breath going in and out. You should feel your whole body getting softer and lighter as you continue to breathe deeply.
This way you can benefit from the power of creative visualization.
Video: Power of Creative Visualization
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