How to Create your Own Visualizations
Creating your own visualization is not difficult. In fact, it is a rewarding and gratifying undertaking. By following a few simple guidelines, you can tailor-make a visualization which is effective and enjoyable.
Visualizations can be very powerful and are widely used to help relaxation, reduce stress, and improve general well-being. In addition, they can help with more specific issues, for example to build confidence, overcome fears, achieve goals, perform better, change behaviour, and manage pain, to name just a few.
When writing visualization for someone else, in particular a group of people, it is important to keep it quite general so that everyone has the opportunity to develop their own pictures, images, and associations. When writing something for yourself you could (but you don’t have to) include more specific references. Always make sure the setting is safe and enjoyable (popular settings are a garden or a beach).
Like a good story, a visualization has more impact when all senses are addressed. For example when describing a beach scene you may mention the colour of the sea, the warmth of the sun, the cries of the sea gulls, and the salty aroma in the air.
When reading out or recording visualization, make sure you feel relaxed, calm and positive. Lower your voice. Speak slowly and clearly, with distinctive pauses between sentences.
The following text is an example of visualization for relaxation, using a beach scene:
Imagine that you are going for leisurely walk along a beach, somewhere in this country or somewhere else. It is just the kind of beach you like, even the weather is the kind of weather you like: not too hot and not too cold, not too windy and not too still.
You have all the time in the world, time just to yourself. Time to look around and notice the deep blue sea, the movement of the waves, the golden colour of the sand. As you are looking around you find the perfect resting place, safe and sheltered, and you decide to lie down, make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. With your eyes closed you listen to the sounds around you, and all those sounds around you make you feel happy, drowsy and at peace. You can feel your body relaxing on the sand, surrendering its weight into the ground, absorbing the warmth of the sun.
The afternoon is drawing to an end now and everything around you is calming down, settling down, becoming quiet and peaceful. Allow yourself to enjoy this very special moment of peace and harmony and relaxation. (pause for several minutes)
And now let your mind drift back to the beach and start waking up. Take a deep breath and take yourself back into this room. Wriggle your fingers, wriggle your toes, stretch out gently, and when you are ready open your eyes, feeling alert, refreshed and ready for the rest of the day.
All you need now is confidence in your own creativity, and remember to:
- Keep your visualization simple
- Give it a purpose
- Include all senses
- Use positive words and phrases
- Repeat the main messages
- Stay in the present
- Learn a settling down routine (relaxation technique)
- Always re-orientate into the here and now afterwards
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