How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality with Creative Visualization Techniques
Have you ever heard the term “seeing is believing?” Although this little adage speaks more to the act of accepting physical proof as truth, it reveals a deeper meaning once we read between the lines.
What is Visualization?
Practicing visualization techniques offers us the ability to change our lives. But, like most things in life, it’s often easier said than done. Many of us try to practice visualization techniques to make positive changes but are unable to harness the power of this life-changing technique. Why? Because we don’t understand it. Knowledge is power – once we can better understand what visualization is and how to use it, we can unlock its full potential.
In essence, visualization involves forming a scene or vision in the mind’s eye. It’s similar to meditation but offers a more focused, sensory-based method to achieving goals. Various studies have shown that the brain doesn’t know the difference between doing an action and imagining it; strengthening the neural pathways involved in the action whether the body is moving or not.
Brain researcher Dr. Srinivasan Pillay has extensively studied the correlation between brain improvement and visualization in stroke patients, discovering that the simple act of imagining a paralyzed body part healthy and moving is enough to initiate brain flow to the area of the brain that’s connected to this body part.
“Imagining moving a limb, even after it has been paralyzed after a stroke, increases brain blood flow enough to diminish the amount of tissue death. This is a very clear indicator of the power of visualization.”
The Power of Positivity
Visualization and positivity often go hand-in-hand. After all, the main point of visualizing a successful outcome is…enjoying a successful outcome! A recent study in the Journal of Positive Psychology has linked optimism to better physical and mental health, leading to the theory that adopting a fresh, positive outlook plays a huge role in bringing positivity into real-life experiences. Keeping our visualizations positive encourages us to aim higher, dig deeper, and reach for the golden ring. When we have fun with this practice, we lessen the pressure to succeed, allowing the mind and body to tap into true potential.
Visualization Techniques are Powerful Tools
Through the power of visualization, we are able to train the brain to stay positive, foresee the future, and plan ahead.
Everything begins with a thought. Consider the screen you’re looking at as you read this, the clothes on your back, the breakfast you had this morning. All actions, inventions, and choices are born in the mind. Through conditioning, however, we’re often disarmed of this powerful realization, taught to give our power away and underestimate our innate potential. Visualization offers us control in our situations and realities and proves that we can have a hand in our own destiny.
Mainstream Visualization Techniques
In mainstream circles, visualization can be found primarily in academic or athletic arenas. Athletes are often taught to visualize sinking a basket or scoring a touchdown, taking the time to incorporate the practice into their pre-game warm-ups and rituals. And, interestingly enough, studies have shown that mental training can enhance muscle activity and increase strength when targeted at specific muscle groups. Athletes not only experience a stronger game but stronger muscles, thanks to the power of visualization.
In the classroom, it’s not uncommon to see test-takers take a moment beforehand to visualize an A+ outcome. Doing so not only increases confidence but allows the mind to cut out all other distractions in favor of deep concentration on the upcoming task at hand. While studying is the best way to ace a test, visualization acts as a great supporting tool to ensure achievement.
Creative Visualization Helps Overcome Limiting Beliefs
Practical, hands-on visualization is effective, but the versatility of visualization also offers deep thinkers and seekers significant insights into the self. Daily visualization obliterates limiting beliefs, such as:
- I never have enough time
Many of us feel as if we’re trying to beat the clock, but end up lagging to the finish line every day. The truth is that time is relative, the man-made concept that organizes, but restricts our lives. If you feel that there’s not enough time in the day to visualize, it’s especially important for you to do so. Once you stick with the intention to incorporate visualization into your daily routine, you not only enjoy a break from your busy schedule – you also learn tools and techniques that will help you redefine your perceptions of time and add more of it to your day.
- I’m not successful
Successful people are often visionaries. Whether they realize it or not, their grand-scale, optimistic visions are a form of creative visualization. Even if your current situations seem to reflect this common limiting belief back to you, you have the power to create a new reflection. Through visualization, you can create your own success by seeing it and believing it. In the words of successful visionary Walt Disney, “If you can visualize it if you can dream it, there’s some way to do it.”
- No one likes me
Issues of self-esteem are often addressed in visualization practices. Rather than dwell in gloom and self-pity, it’s much more constructive to identify the issues that prevent you from making deep connections with others, address the root causes through deep introspection, and visualize your way to a vibrant social life.
- I’m trapped
Feelings of stagnancy often point to blocks in the physical, mental, and emotional bodies. Visualization helps us locate the areas of ourselves that need more attention and bring more vitality to them. Freedom of the mind is achieved through exploration of the mind and body, strengthening the will to break through limiting barriers.
- Life is hard
Life is what you make it; if you believe that life is hard, it will be. However, we often forget that the opposite is true, as well. If you believe that life is easy, it will be! Visualization helps us foresee the opening of doors, imagine favorable outcomes, and overcome obstacles with grace and strength.
How to Practice Visualization Techniques to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
Visualisation techniques keep you motivated and on track to achieve your goals. When you have a clear idea in your mind of where you want to go and what you want to do, the road to success becomes much smoother. Some effective visualization techniques include:
- Vision boards
One of the most popular visualization methods (especially in recent years) is creating a “vision board.” If you don’t consider yourself to be an imaginative person, a vision board will serve as an especially helpful tool, encouraging you to form a basis for your goals. While this practice often gets mocked or stereotyped by the media, creating a vision board is an enjoyable and effective first step. Be mindful to take your creation past the arts and crafts medium by using it as a guideline for your visualization sessions.
To sharpen your focus, it’s helpful to use mantras or affirmations in your visualizations. Affirmations are inspiring words or phrases that are repeated in order to inspire and help you reach your goals, such as “I am happy,” or “Success comes to me easily.” Simply choose a positive statement and allow it to serve as the main focus while visualizing.
We all know how to daydream – to give the mind free rein to float out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Daydreaming is often a gateway technique into deeper, more focused visualization. You can begin here, imagining immersing yourself in your fantasies and highest aspirations, and take it a few steps further through breathwork, body mindfulness, and deep concentration.
- Yoga NidraThis yoga practice does more than relax the body and calm the mind. Yoga Nidra involves maintaining full consciousness while disengaging from all outside distraction for deeper concentration; setting the tone for focused intention and mindful release of self-limiting beliefs.