Mind visualization and mind exercise is a powerful psychological tool!
It's about using our minds effectively to achieve our goals! These techniques are excellent aids from which we can all benefit. In effect, they involve replacing inferior thoughts with better good thoughts.
(By way of contrast, meditation is more far-reaching because its goal is freedom from all compulsive or negative thinking.)
Mind visualization using exercises are not just imaginary seeing.
These techniques involve using all the senses to program our brains for success!
In this section of our site, we introduce the techniques along with two other important, similar techniques for using our minds effectively, namely, Self-Talk and the Timeline Technique.
Mind Visualization: Exercise 1
Many people in different fields from professional athletes to salespeople have discovered for themselves how effective mind visualization and mind exercises can be.
You really can become what you think about most of the time.
As part of your daily morning ritual, we hope you'll include using your imagination effectively. If you do, you'll be rehearsing your success. Lasting improvements in your habits and techniques only come from good improvements at the more fundamental levels.
You know about your body by sensing it, and mind visualization is using your imagination to sense exactly how you want your body to be.
Example: how to use it for weight loss or fitness
As an example, here's how to use the technique for weight loss or fitness. or health but it could be anything else, not just those things:
Imagine in as much sensory detail as possible exactly how you want your body to be. Imagine yourself as already having achieved your ideal body. Imagine how you'll look. Imagine all the health benefits.
Think of rewarding yourself by getting some new clothes to suit your new look of your body. Imagine your health care professional being astounded at your transformation! Imagine how much better you'll feel! Use this technique to think about how much easier it will be to stand up, walk, dance, and even run.
Think how much less work it will be to climb a flight of stairs. Think how hot weather will automatically be more tolerable.
Here's an essential tip about mind visualization: when a negative thought or image occurs to you, immediately replace it with a positive one. By using mind visualization to replace ideas or images in this way, you'll change your surreality, self-concept, attitudes, and values and do that to become what you think about most of the time.
The best time to practice mind visualization is during your morning routine. Your mind should be relaxed and alert.
Sit comfortably and take deep breaths until you are relaxed. It will help if you close your eyes for the very few minutes that mind visualization takes.
Overview of Mind Visualization & Mind Exercises
Imagine in as much detail as possible the outcome that you want. Imagine going though the day being healthy, exercising well, eating healthy, looking good, and feeling terrific.
Create an affirmative statement to repeat to yourself over and over, for example, "This program to achieve weight loss is working perfectly!" Then do your best to feel exactly what it will be like to live with your ideal percentage of body fat and optimum health. Smile, and let yourself soak up benefits of your trim, revitalized body.
Skeptical? That's fine—but please try it for yourself! There's an interesting reason why this works: it's effective because our minds cannot tell the difference between something real and something vividly imagined.
Scared during nightmares?
This is why we get scared during nightmares: it may only be an imaginary person that is chasing us in a bad dream, but the fear we experience is a real fear.
In other words, we sometimes confuse reality with surreality, the world with our world. We say that people who are seriously mentally ill live in a world of their own, and we say it because it's true. Mind visualization enables us to use this fact to improve our lives.
(If this topic seriously interests you and you'd like to read more about it, we suggest Panayot Butchvarov's Being Qua Being. He explains how our minds create our worlds by enforcing primitive identity judgments.
However, be forewarned that it's not light reading.)
Mind Visualization: Exercise 2
The philosopher Plato wrote that thinking "is, precisely, the inward dialogue carried on by the mind with itself without spoken sound" (Sophist 263e). We all think. We all talk inwardly to ourselves.
Some might think that what we say to ourselves isn't important. That's false. It's extremely important in terms of the quality of our lives.
The Buddha said, "With our thoughts we make the world" (from Dhammapada); I think he meant that we create the worlds we live in, our surrealities, by thinking (and not that we create reality by thinking).
Similarly, the Bible inspired the aphorism: "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he."
James Allen: "Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought."
Norman Vincent Peale: "Change your thoughts and you change your world."
The trick is to erase your old programming and replace it will new programming.
Please stop negative self-talk such as:
"I am unable to lose weight," "No diet and exercise program ever works for me," "Everything I eat just turns to fat,"
"Whenever I lose weight it's always just temporary," "If only I had better genes I could lose weight," and so on.
Shad Helmstetter: "Self-Talk is a way to override our past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with conscious, positive new directions" (from What To Say When You Talk To Your Self, which is the best book we have read on self-talk).
Use positive self-talk throughout the day; there's no need to limit it to your morning routine. Self-talk creates our self-concepts, which ground our attitudes, values, and habits. Improving the way you talk to yourself will improve your self-concept, which will positively affect your attitudes, values, and habits—and that will improve your results.
Mind Visualization: Exercise 3
The Timeline Technique
According to its co-founder Richard Bandler, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is primarily about "developing ways to teach people how to use their brains . . . Anything can be changed" (from Using Your Brain For A Change).
Although it's a new field, some people have found it very useful. Since reality is best understood as impermanence, constant flux, of course, anything can be changed! The timeline technique is best thought of as an extension of goal setting and mind visualization. If you'd like to achieve permanent peace of mind, we encourage you to explore changing your future and your past using the timeline technique.
Using the timeline technique will begin by discovering how your brain codes time spatially. Typically, if you are Anglo-European, your timeline will be organized where the past, present, and future are all in front of you. Your memories are arranged like a string of pearls.
With practice, you'll be able to imagine floating up above your time line and floating back into the past or forward into the future. You'll be able to drop down and revisit the past or imagine the future, and then float back up above your timeline again and return to the present.
It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It's apparently even possible to rebuild a defective past. It's possible to use the timeline technique to go back and have you grow up (in your mind) as a different person, to create a new childhood for yourself (see Bandler and Grinder's Frogs Into Princes).
Furthermore, this is a technique that can work quickly. If it interests you, consider reading Time Line Therapy by Tad James & Wyatt Woodsmall. It's a book that will give you all you need to get started.
Two excellent introductory audio programs, available from Nightingale-Conant, are Anthony Robbins, Unlease The Power Within, and Charles Faulkner, et. al., NLP.
Isn't the thought of using these tools to help you achieve improved health exciting?
These techniques and exercises are good free aids and can bring many benefits. Of course, you do need to combine them with healthy eating.
Web pages to help you further
In this the psychology section of our website we have the following pages to help you further:
Free your mind visualization: See our short video about the psychology of 'Living Well in the Present Moment.'
This link leads to the video for those who want keep it for future reference.
The page is now complete. We do hope that you found the mind visualization and mind exercises useful and that it will help on your journey through life!