Visualization is essentially the grown-up version of using your imagination to envision yourself in different scenarios. It’s fun when you’re a kid to imagine yourself being a famous athlete or being like your favorite superhero. However, visualization can actually be put into practice, and be beneficial, when you’re an adult as well.
As we get older we tend to get less creative and imaginative, to the point where many adults don’t use their imagination widely in their everyday life. Most adult responsibilities, from working to making dinner, don’t require much imagination. But research has found that using imagination as an adult and manifesting what you want and where you’d like to be can actually be highly beneficial.
What Is Visualization and How Is It Used?
Visualization is essentially the practice of imagining what you want and taking steps to make the scenario you’re visualizing come true in real life. You form mental images, then take action to put these images into visible form. You might imagine acing a test you need to get into grad school, for example, and take action to make this success a reality.
Many successful people use visualization, including business owners and athletes. Perhaps the best example of visualization is when an athlete envisions exactly what they’ll do on the day of their competition and uses this visualization as part of their practice and preparation. Snowboarders envision the twists and turns they’ll make in the air; other athletes envision lifting a gold medal or trophy, while others imagine making the goal that will win their team the game.
Visualization isn’t simply thinking of what you want, and leaving it at that. It actually involves an entire process and includes meditation and practice. It’s a complex process that leads you from imagining something to taking action on it, step by step. For many people, successful visualization begins with visualization meditation.
What Is Visualization Meditation?
Visualization meditation is the combination of practicing meditation with the technique of visualization. Visualization involves you imagining achieving a future goal, while meditation is a means of sharpening focus through calm reflection and mental exercise. You’ll utilize general meditation techniques, such as controlled breathing or mantras, as you practice visualization of specific scenarios. These scenarios can be a situation that will improve your life, or of you accomplishing certain things such as getting a raise at work or doing well in a sports competition. Basically, visualization meditation is visualizing as you meditate.
You can try doing visualization meditation on your own. However, it is possible to work with a mental health professional to put your visualization meditation into practice, or even get started on incorporating visualization into your life in general. BetterHelp is an online therapy provider that provides advice on visualization meditation as well as other aspects of visualization. BetterHelp can match you with a great therapist who will help you get started on achieving what you want in life.
How Do I Practice Visualization Meditation?
It’s one thing to understand what visualization meditation is–it’s another thing to actually put the concept into practice. There are several different ways you can practice it, and the good news is that you are able to quickly do a visualization meditation in just a couple of minutes, or you may do a practice that requires a longer period of time. This means you’re able to incorporate this type of meditation into your life no matter how busy you are and it won’t be a big commitment.
One option is to complete a focus exercise. You can take deep breaths and focus on them, or look at a specific object and focus on that object. The idea is that what you focus on takes up your entire thought process and you won’t think about your problems. With visualization meditation, the thing you’ll focus on is what specifically you’re visualizing: imagine yourself getting that raise without allowing room in your thoughts for anything else.
Another option is to imagine what you want to happen in very great detail. Try to visualize it as distinctly as possible. Exactly how much will the raise be? How will the news be delivered to you, and what will be your reaction? If your boss hands you a piece of paper that describes the raise, what does the paper look like and what’s its texture? Going into the details is a great way people practice visualization meditation.
The last aspect to visualization meditation is to think about concrete steps you’ll take to accomplish your goal. How exactly will you get to where you want to be? What can you do weekly, monthly, or daily? Incorporate these steps into your mediation and envision yourself accomplishing each of them. By identifying the steps necessary, you can easily establish visualization meditation into your daily life.