Visualization meditation is an excellent way of relaxing your mind. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to visit a Spa or go on a vacay to unplug and relax your mind. Instead, you can practice visualization meditation.
Scientific studies show that visualization helps your mind create a robust and detailed mental image, helping you achieve deep relaxation. Besides, visualization can motivate you and propel you towards achieving your goals and dreams.
Visualization meditation is an excellent tool for alleviating stress, anxiety, depression, and cancer, among others. With that in mind, this article aims to give you insights into the meaning of visualization meditation, how to practice it, and its benefits.
Visualization Meditation is the process of imagining yourself doing something and picturing the consequences of your action. It is a cognitive process of reflecting or imagining how something will turn out before it happens. Visualization works by conditioning your mind to achieve success or achieve a future goal.
There are quite a few different meditation types and techniques. Visualization is one of them. A few call it a mental rehearsal or mental imagery. Visualization and meditation are not interchangeable because they involve using your imagination and the mind to influence your body. You combine meditation and visualization with helping you picture something positive during meditation. You can try our article on definition of meditation to understand better.
That said, visualization can be as simple as pausing for 10 seconds, just before jumping off the diving board, or as tricky as picturing yourself delivering a speech for the first time. Nonetheless, focusing on your deepest desires can help you develop the confidence to make your aspirations come true.
During the 1984 Olympics, Russians used visualization to help them improve their sports performance. That is when visualization gained its popularity. The famous athlete, Michael Phelps, still incorporates visualization in his day-to-day practice to help him win. If you visualize yourself winning a race or excelling in your dream career, you’re more likely to make the visualization come true.
How to Practice Visualization Meditation
If you want to reap the full benefits of visualization meditation, you must take time to reflect on your life. Practicing visualization meditation for a few minutes each day is beneficial.
However, if you want to gain deeper access to your inner self, you should increase your visualization sessions’ duration. During your initial sessions, you may not be able to concentrate for long.
You are likely to get distracted by your thoughts and feelings or noise from your surroundings. To reap the benefits of visualization and improve your capabilities, your practice should be frequent enough. Don’t give up.
Below are some insights on how to become better at visualizing during meditation:
Focused attention exercises
Sharpening your focused attention can improve your visualization meditation skills. A quick and controlled deep breathing exercise can help you remain calm and improve your alertness.
Focusing on your breath shifts your focus from unwanted or intrusive thoughts. You can also direct your full, undivided attention to one single object.
Pay attention to one crucial aspect of your life
If you intend to use visualization meditation to improve your life and make real changes, learn to focus on what’s essential in your life. Avoid focusing on several domains at once. For instance, you can choose to focus on your studies, relationships, or career.
Imagine it to make it happen
Your thoughts and feelings can shape your actions. Therefore, if you want something to happen, you need to visualize whatever you want to manifest and then make it happen.
For instance, you can visualize yourself living the kind of life you want as if it is real. If you do that, you will act to make your dreams come true or attract what you want over time.
Do not dwell on negative thoughts
Negative thoughts are likely to creep into your mind during your visualization exercises. However, you must downplay or ignore all your worries, fears, and arguments.
Do not allow negative thoughts to fill your mind because they can grow stronger and affect your life. Instead, teach your mind to think positive thoughts.
Meditate on a medium-term goal
Visualization can help you materialize your goal. If you set a two-month goal, what exactly do you want to achieve by the end of those two months?
Try to be specific about what your goal entails and picture yourself taking steps to propel you towards the success you want. It’s good to have a clear picture of what you want.
Picture your life when you achieve your goal
Try to imagine how your life will change when you accomplish your goal. What will your achievement feel like? How will your life be different because of achieving your goal? How will you feel, and what new experiences do you anticipate?
Take time to envision your progress
Visualizing yourself experiencing the exciting feelings of accomplishing your goal and sharing the good life can help you reach your goal. Therefore, take time to imagine and enjoy the moment. Try to see yourself in that place you want to be and enjoy been there entirely.
Make a plan for the path you want to follow
This step entails devising an action plan. What essential steps do you need to take to make your goal a reality? Whatever steps you come up with, ensure you set
SMART goals around them. Let the SMART goals guide you toward achieving your success.
As you end your visualization session, try to relax, and note all the sensations you experience in your surroundings.
Reflect on your goal regularly
Be sure to check whether you are making progress. Take time to reflect on the actions you’ve been taking toward accomplishing your goal. Remember, you can make significant changes by consistently taking a single step each day.
Benefits of Visualization Meditation
Evidence-based research shows that meditation can reduce oxygen intake, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure, and slow your heart rate. On the other hand, visualization can make your dreams and goals come true. It can help you attract success and prosperity.
For many years, athletes and dancers have been using visualization to improve their sports and physical performance. Also, research shows that people who practice visualization exercises tend to have more muscle strength than people who visit the gym
But, what benefits can you reap by combining visualization and meditation? Let us find out.
Help relieve stress
Visualization meditation helps to reduce the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. It also promotes the release of feel-good hormones known as endorphins.
That said, visualization helps to relax your body and mind. It helps to calm your nerves and boost your mood. Anytime you feel stressed, try to close your eyes and imagine great things happening.
Visualization meditation Improves athletic performance
Visualization meditation improves the performance of athletes and other professionals. It improves their ability to learn new skills, as well as their confidence during a game.
For instance, runners can boost their chances of winning by imagining themselves getting to the finish line first. This mental image tends to give them strength and confidence to perform at their best.
Some of the famous athletes who practice visualization include Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, and Kerri Walsh, to mention a few.
Enhances your focus
Helps you achieve your goals
Visualization meditation encourages you to stay focused on your goals. Visualizing your goals enables you to tap into your subconscious mind. When you visualize your goal, it tends to become more real, meaning you are more likely to achieve it.
Visualization meditation teaches your brain to identify the resources it will need to accomplish your goals. It motivates you to strive for your goals and stay on track by informing the actions you take each day.
Boosts energy and motivation
Practicing meditation tends to increase brain function and energy levels. During meditation, your mind and body tend to relax, which in turn decreases stress levels. As a result, your energy levels are likely to go up.
On the other hand, a consistent practice can help renew your motivation and enthusiasm.
Visualization meditation improves sleep
Increases your self-confidence
If you have low self-esteem, practicing visualization can make you feel better about yourself. Visualization meditation helps you realize that your potential is limitless, more so when you picture yourself accomplishing the goals, you hope to achieve.
It helps you realize that you have what it takes to achieve your goals. It boosts your confidence because it makes your goals more tangible.
Boosts your overall health
Besides stress management, visualization meditation is an excellent tool for improving your well-being. Visual thinking or the relaxation state you achieve while focusing on a particular image can have long-term health benefits.
For instance, when you reach a deep state of relaxation, you’re likely to gain greater mental clarity and strength. This experience can help you achieve better control over your mood and emotions. Visual thinking can significantly lower blood pressure, blood sugar, alleviate pain, and migraines. It can strengthen your immune system.
Visualization meditation increases happiness
Visualization meditation can boost your happiness. When you create a mental image of the life you want or a goal you want to achieve, you will feel elated.
Therefore, anytime you feel sad, angry, or depressed, close your eyes and picture yourself lying on a beach, for instance.
Getting Started with Visualization Meditation
Practicing visualization is easy because you need your body, mind, and attention.
Below are a few tips on how to get started with visualization meditation:
Find a calm place to meditate
It is essential to find a quiet place where you will not be disrupted or interrupted. Remember to put your phone away. If you decide to meditate with your phone on, put it on silent mode.
With enough practice, you will be able to practice visualization in a noisy environment.
Try to practice your visualization every day
Try to make visualization a daily habit. If you incorporate it into your day-to-day activities, you will be amazed at how much change you will see in your life. Don’t wait until you are in your serene space to visualize your goals, or wait until you get to the office to picture a great workday.
In other words, try to picture your goals and the life you want whenever you get a chance.
Be realistic while doing Visualization Meditation
Realism is a vital visualization skill. It is all right to have big goals and dreams about your future. However, try to give yourself a goal that is as realistic as possible. Your brain needs to believe that the mental images you are creating are from the real event.
A realistic goal is more likely to be successful than one that is unrealistic. Unrealistic goals can affect your mental well-being and affect your ability to set future goals. So, be sure to set achievable goals.
Incorporate loving-kindness exercise
You can also give the loving-kindness visualization exercise a try, which involves visualizing other people in your life. Try to sit in a quiet place and imagine receiving love from a person you admire.
Picture your friends and family sending you wishes for happiness and good health. Try to bask in that warmth and kindness for about 10 minutes. Finally, slowly bring your awareness back to the person that is sending you the love and send the love you feel back to that person.
Summing up Visualization Meditation
Visualization meditation involves creating a meaningful and realistic mental image. It can help you experience a state of deep relaxation and propel you towards your dreams and goals.
Visualization meditation can help you achieve success in all areas of your life. Athletes like Michael Phelps have been incorporating visualization in their physical training routines to boost their performance.
Besides improving sports performance, visualization meditation can boost your happiness, self-confidence, and overall well-being.