Visualization Tips to Improve Your Self-Hypnosis Skills
Visualization is as important a tool as there is for self-hypnosis success. Head over to Amazon and you'll find countless books that have been written about creative imagery and visualization. And when's the last time you listened to a self-hypnosis cd or mp3 that didn't include some type of visualization exercise or scene? So what makes it such an important tool? Because almost all of our patterns of behavior and belief systems have a visual component to them. Almost everything we experience in this life has its basis in something we've seen. Visual imagery is an integral part of our programming. And because of this, it's also an integral part of our reprogramming.
Here's a simple formula for how we become programmed as we grow up. It usually begins with our becoming aware of something through our senses (most often through sight), we then have a reaction to the event (a physical reaction and sometimes an emotional reaction), and then, last but not least, we have thoughts about the event which can then develop into a belief system. And when we experience the same event again and again, the belief system becomes a deeply ingrained, programmed belief. Let's look at a specific example.
Let's say as a child, every time you completed a task given to you by a parent, the parent finds something wrong with your effort and gives you a disapproving look. Seeing that disapproving look begins to create a fearful emotional response from the child--let's call it dread. The child becomes fearful of being given tasks and develops a belief that they can't do anything right. Now, while the parent may have been simply trying to teach the child to do the best job they possibly could, the child develops a negative, fear-based belief from those experiences that follows him/her into adulthood.
Here's how visualization can help to change that belief. Simply reimagine those events with a different outcome. See yourself being lauded for your efforts. Because your subconscious mind treats each of your imaginings as real, your subconscious mind will help you to begin to develop a new belief system (based on the new visualizations) to supplant the old one. Also, visualizing any past event where you were praised for your efforts will also help to reprogram your subconscious. The more you focus on these positive-based visualizations, the more your confidence in yourself will bloom. An issue like this might take several weeks or even a few months to really take root within your mind.
Tip #1 -- It doesn't have to be perfect. The first thing to understand about visualizing is that it doesn't have to be perfect. No one visualizes perfectly. And remember, you're visualizing every day, remembering things that have happened and imagining things that you'd like to happen or are afraid will happen. And your subconscious mind gets those messages and understands them. Your subconscious mind is in perfect sync with the way in which "you" visualize. So be confident in your ability to visualize. And keep in mind that your subconscious mind treats all your visualizations and imaginings as real.
Tip #2 -- Visualize with Feeling. Incorporating the appropriate feeling into your visualization is critically important. This will, of course, vary with the objective of your visualization. For instance, if you want to feel relaxed and confident in relation to a specific event where you normally might feel stressed, imagine the event in your mind and practice feeling relaxed and confident. Repeat the visualization till you begin to naturally feel relaxed and confident any time you think of the event or a similar event or situation.
Tip #3 -- Believe in What You're Visualizing. Having faith and believing in what your visualizing goes a long way toward achieving success with your self-hypnosis projects. When you visualize, make your visualizations seem as real as possible. Make them seem as if they are already happening. By feeling confidence that what you're seeing in your visualization is real, you inform your subconscious mind of your clear and unwavering intention to create what you are seeing in your visualization.
Tip #4 -- Practice, Practice, Practice. The more you practice visualizing, the better you'll get at it. There are two very simple exercises you can practice to improve your visualization skills.
- Visually Memorizing Photos -- Get a stack of photos and look at them one at a time. After you've looked at a photo, close your eyes and see the image in your mind. Go through all the photos repeating the process. Very simple, very effective.
- Memorize the Room -- This is similar to the first exercise, minus the photos. Look at a portion of the room you're in and memorize it in your mind. Close your eyes and visualize that part of the room. Repeat the process for that same part of the room several times till you're able to create vivid recall of that portion of the room.
Tip #5 -- Act on Your Visualizations. Often in our visualizations, we're looking to change behavioral patterns. Maybe it's to feel more confident and self-assured in given situations. So we practice self-hypnosis and visualize ourselves being more confident and self-assured in those situations, and we take in and absorb the suggestions given to us in our self-hypnosis sessions. And that prepares us to "act" confidently when similar situations arise in our daily life. And each time we act confident and self-assured in real life situations, it really begins to solidify our new behavior. So it's very important to "act" when the opportunity arises, and it's also important to be appreciative of any successes we might have. When we get excited at the progress we make, no matter how big or small that progress might be, our subconscious mind notices and responds to support our new behavior.
Remember, your subconscious mind is already comfortable and proficient in understanding the messages you send to it when you visualize. And while you might choose to improve and hone your visualization skills, you're already having plenty of success with your visualizations. Your visualizations don't have to be perfect. The most important areas for improvement for anyone using visualizations with their self-hypnosis practice is in incorporating the appropriate "feelings" within the visualization and learning to believe (have faith) in your success. Then "act" when the opportunity arises. When used diligently, these components of effective visualization send clear, powerful messages to your subconscious mind, informing it of exactly what it is you want to create or change.
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