When I first came across the technique of visualization I thought it was a little quacky. I thought it was self-help non-sense. A ploy to sell books about manifesting your dreams into reality through thoughts alone. Well, those books certainly exist and talk about this practice, but there actually is validity to the power of visualization.
When I dug deeper into the research, I found that visualization techniques are used in a lot of different areas. And there is real science to support the efficacy of this practice.
Research shows that visualization techniques help aid in sports recovery. They also help improve sports performance and strength gain. Some people even attribute visualization techniques to overcoming their battles with sickness and disease like cancer.
Visualization, also known as mental imagery or mental rehearsal, is simply envisioning scenarios in your mind as if you were actually experiencing them in reality. When you think about an activity, the same brain regions light up as if you were actually performing that activity.
You can use mental rehearsal for many things in life: preparing for an upcoming presentation, a difficult conversation, learning a new skill, or remembering the past experience that brings you joy or happiness. This is a great way to reduce your stress and put you in a more positive state. The key is to use vivid detail and make the images bright and bold in your mind.
Mental rehearsal can potentially manifest the “law of attraction” (in a way). One theory suggests that this practice stimulates the reticular activating system in the brain stem. This region is known as the attention filter.
So when you think about something deeply, your brain starts to pay more attention to it and anything related to it. It filters out unwanted stimuli and helps you become more attentive to whatever it is you are envisioning.
Obviously, it takes action to produce real change in your life. Visualization is a powerful tool. But if you don’t work to make your visualization become a reality, it’s not likely to happen. So incorporate mental rehearsal along with physical practice in your daily life and you’ll see greater results!
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