Guided Visualization Techniques
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How to use Visualization for change
The basics of Guided Visualization are very simple. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages. You need to use the right Guided Visualization Techniques to get the results you want.
- Find a time during the day when you can set aside five to ten minutes.
- Settle down somewhere comfortable and allow yourself to relax. (One way to do that is to tense and then relax your muscles, starting with your feet and moving up your body. Another way is to say or think the word 'relax' or 'relaxing now, more and more relaxed' with each breath out).
- Relax until you reach a daydreamy kind of feeling.
- Then, start visualizing what you want.
It can be a new car, a loving relationship, an overseas holiday - anything at all. Whatever you choose, imagine every detail of what it would be like to have that thing, to use it, to be in it. Really be there experiencing every aspect of it. Don't tell yourself it will happen, imagine it has happened, is happening right now, that you already have it.
Allow yourself to daydream what you would look like, how you are dressed, what you hear, see, taste, smell. Imagine who else would be there, what they would think, say, feel.
- And then imagine how good you would feel.
Really indulge yourself.
- Fill yourself with pleasure, pride, fulfillment, joy - whatever it is you want to feel.
Tell yourself, 'with every breath in, that feeling gets stronger and stronger'; 'with every breath in I am becoming more and more open to enjoying that feeling'; 'I deserve that feeling, I can have that feeling, I am having that feeling'. The more you can immerse yourself in good feelings the more likely it is that your vision will come true.
- While you are enjoying the feeling, think about what you need to do today to start to make it come true.
- Then get up and do something, no matter how small, that is a step towards getting what you want.
Repeat this exercise at least once every day; better: several times a day.
That's all there is to it. The more you practice, and the greater your emotional connection in the process, the faster it will come true. Everyone can learn to visualize. It just takes practice.
Types of Visualization Technique
Goal Visualization techniques
Focused self development combines visualization with Affirmations and Goal Setting.
First create and memorize an affirmation associated with what you want to achieve, or the specific goals you want to reach.
For example if you wanted promotion at work, you might visualize yourself behind the boss's desk. Imagine making phone calls to important people, looking out the of the window at your executive car, ordering coffee from your secretary. Enjoy that feeling of achievement and total satisfaction. You might then, within the visualization, mentally repeat an affirmation. Something like "I am focused and determined to make this company a winner". The affirmation will reinforce the visualization and the visualization will reinforce the affirmation.
You can also, or instead, add one or more related goals to the visualization. Try "I am best in my grade" or "I know every employee by name" or the skill you think is key to getting your promotion.
Backward-link Visualization technique
Another use of visualization is to allow your subconscious to work out for you how you will achieve your visualized state.
Suppose you want to get promoted to your boss's job. You visualise yourself sitting behind the desk appreciating all the benefits you get from your achievement. In the visualization you add another part. You imagine yourself being in that chair and allowing your mind at that moment to think back to how you got the promotion. Allow your mind to go through each step, each stage, each milestone on the way to getting what you have now, the promotion.
Ask your mind to show you what it was you did to achieve each stage, how you went about it, what the key to success was. Then you move into that situation. Visualize it intensely, and do that for every stage.
Eventually your visualization will turn into a kind of movie showing each step on the way and what you did to make sure you achieved that step. As you visualize in more and more detail you are ensuring that it will actually happen.
Rehearsal Visualization technique
You can use visualization to rehearse situations where you feel you might need help. Suppose you have to give a presentation to the committee. Suppose further that getting it right will open doors for you. But getting it wrong will cancel out weeks or months of planning and preparation. That sort of thing can easily bring too much pressure.
Visualization can ensure that it is a success. Before the presentation, find time to relax and visualise. You should visualise yourself at the stage before the actual presentation. It might be driving there or waiting in a room outside or something else. Imagine yourself there at the time. Use past memories to call up a time when you felt good, confident, in control. Increase that feeling, multiply it again, ramp that feeling up until you are ready to burst. Then transfer that feeling of total power to the image of yourself outside the committee room.
Then visualize yourself pushing open the door, seeing the people there, watching them smile in welcome. See yourself stepping up to begin your talk, confident, totally in control. Then visualise each stage, what you say, what you show, see your jokes making them laugh or your points registering home. See yourself dominating the room, owning it, giving the best presentation they ever saw, confident, composed, creative. And then hear the applause, the rising sound of approval, they stand and clap, they gather round you, congratulating, approving, promising.....
Really lay it on thick... you cannot be too good... imagine it is the best presentation the world has ever seen. Then go over it in your mind again and again. Each time make it even better for you, even more amazing. The result will be that when you get to the room you will have all that energy and confidence buzzing through you - you actually will blow them away.
Fantasy Visualization techniques
Simple and focused visualizations are concerned with reality. Visualization can also be used indirectly. Let your imagination go beyond reality to imagine some kind of fantasy event, a metaphor for aspects your life that you want to change.
One common example comes from health. Some success has been reported by visualising your body repairing itself and becoming healthy. People can visualise their body's defence mechanisms rallying around the site of injury or infection.
Visualization techniques might see the defender cells as knights with lances slaying the dragons of illness. Or children might want to use a space ship idea, attacking the evil cells with lasers beams and destroying them. There is no limit to how you use your imagination.
Pain control therapies use a lot of visualization techniques. For chronic pain, the person visualizes the seat of the pain as represented by a colour, red for example. Then they focus on an area of their body where there is no pain, and visualise that as a different colour, blue for example. Then the person imagines dipping a brush into the blue color and painting over the red, or pressing both places together so that the colors blend and remove the pain.
Cartoon animation Visualization technique
Another use of visualization is to subconsciously alter how you perceive people or things that make you feel threatened.
Suppose you feel uncomfortable with someone at work. A person who always seems to be able to make you feel bad, or a bit frightened of them. If you change the way you think about them, you will change the way you react to them. If it's what they say that bothers you, all you have to do is to imagine the person with a giant nose like an elephant. Visualise whatever they say coming out like a trumpeting noise. Or imagine the person as they will be in thirty years time, with a sagging belly and wispy white hair, drooling and snuffling.
If you are being called into the boss's office and the idea makes you feel anxious, just imagine the boss as a toddler with his pants around his ankles waddling around the desk. Suppose you have to go into a room full of high powered people. Before you go in, just imagine them all sitting there naked, farting loudly. There is no limit to how inventive you can be. If you can make yourself laugh at something, you cannot be frightened of it any more.
In the same way, you can get rid of things that frighten you in other ways. Suppose there is someone you want to forget. Visualize being on a beach, write their name in the sand, and watch the waves wash away that name. Or if there is someone who has hurt you in the past, imagine drawing their outline, or their face in the sand. Then let the waves wash that away.
Healing Metaphor Visualization
Another visualization technique needs a someone else to guide you. A guide, often a hypnotist, leads the client through a specially tailored metaphor. The metaphor sets a scene, leads into some situation which has parallels to your problem and then allows you to find ways to overcome obstacles, or push aside barriers. These healing metaphors can be very powerful, almost irresistible, and long lasting.
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