I have written a few articles so far about how the brain works, how it tricks us, and how to use this to apply basic Positive Happiness thought principles to our lives. One of the key thought techniques commonly used by successful people is a form of mental rehearsal called visualisation. So it only makes sense for me to discuss how visualisation works and show you how to maximise the effectiveness of your positive visualisations. As mentioned in several previous articles, our brain is fantastic at performing tasks automatically. Anything that it deems as an easily repeatable task gets put onto "auto-pilot", including our thoughts.
This can cause some unwanted problems at times but it can also be used to our advantage to automate positive thought processes. We can essentially train our brain to automatically think and perform positive actions for us. Sounds great? well it is, and you can do it too with these simple tips for getting the most out of your visualisations.
What are visualisations?
Visualisations are just a form of mental rehearsal where we imagine how a certain situation will look and feel. We might imagine what people say, how they look, what actions we take, and so on. The point of visualisation is to mentally prepare ourselves so that we are confident and capable of handling the upcoming scenario. When we picture success enough we find success.
This is why we are focusing on positive visualisations. If you are going for a job interview you want to develop a visualisation where you are confident, smart, friendly, and you ace the interview. Or if you are playing an important sporting match you want to visualise yourself excelling physically and mentally and being victorious. Practice these visualisations enough and the positive results will start to occur.
Make visualisations intense
The more intense or realistic you can make your visualisations the more effective they will be. This is the main reason why some sportspeople thrive in pressure situations and others fail. They have all learned the basic skills and practiced them thousands of times, but only those who make the practice as realistic as possible (both mentally and physically) will succeed when under pressure.
Just like learning to drive you need to break down overly complex actions and thoughts so that you can practice and visualise success at each step. Start by breaking your overall goal into smaller tasks that you can visualise success for. Perfect each individual visualisation before bringing them all together.
Practice, practice, practice
Practice all the possibilities that could arise and visualise how you would deal with them and succeed. Then do it all again. If it only takes the brain a few times to start automating a thought process do not give it a chance to think of anything but success. Keep repeating the positive visualiation until the brain has it on speed dial.
Every detail counts
Create a clear and detailed picture of the scenario in your mind. Include all the details you can think of - colours, fabrics, smells, weather, people. Adding these details will help your brain recognise the scenario when it occurs in real life and thus be able to apply the correct visualisation.
Experience the emotions
When you first begin a visualisation you may feel some fear or stress. Acknowledge that those feelings are fine because they are why you need to practice visualisation in the first place. As you get into the swing of things start focusing your mind on what emotions would be triggered as you see your success unfolding. What would the success feel like? How much would it mean to you to have that success? Start experiencing those positive emotions as if you had already been successful. Eventually your mind will expect those feelings whenever the situation presents itself.
Eventually if you perform positive visualisation enough then just by thinking about the situation you will trigger positive and successful thoughts patterns. You wont even have to remember to do it. And when that situation does finally present itself your brain will do it all automatically and you will naturally expect success because that is what you trained for.
Visualise success and the rest will follow.