In this post, we’ll unpack all you need to know about Mental Visualisation, defining exactly what it is, the science behind how it works, how we can leverage it and more.
What Is Mental Visualisation?
Mental Visualisation, also known as mental rehearsal, refers to using imagination to condition the brain and nervous system, which can ultimately bring about changes in our thoughts, feelings and actions.
It involves creating mental pictures of specific behaviours that you want to cultivate or outcomes that you want to achieve in your life.
“Proper visualisation by the exercise of concentration and willpower enables us to materialise thoughts, not only as dreams or visions in the mental realm, but also as experiences in the material realm.” ― Paramahansa Yogananda
The Science Behind Mental Visualisation
The brain doesn’t know difference between imagination and reality. In other words, it doesn’t know the difference between what’s going on in your mind’s eye and what’s actually happening in your environment.
Consequently, when engaging in Mental Visualisation, it has the same effect on your brain as the real thing. In fact, research shows that those who visualise the results they want can achieve 100% greater results than those who don’t.
There are a whole range of studies that support the power of Mental Visualisation and its positive affects on our neurology.
In one study, a group of participants who carried out virtual weight training workouts in their minds increased muscle strength by as much as 13.5%.
A second study published in the Journal Of Neurophysiology, volunteers that did mental exercises had wrist muscles that were twice as strong as those that had done nothing.
In yet another study conducted in 1961 by Dr. Biasiotto at the University of Chicago, participants who visualised making free throws improved their performance by 23%.
Finally, one of the most famous examples of Mental Visualisation involved human-rights activist Natan Sharansky. During a nine-year stint in prison, Sharansky played a game of mental chess against none other than himself every day. Following his release, Sharansky went on to become world chess champion.
3 Tips For Mental Visualisation
Below are 3 powerful tips to get the best out of your Mental Visualisation.
- Get crystal clear on your desired outcome.
- Make your mental image as specific, detailed and vivid as possible.
- Use as many of the 5 senses as you can.
Using Mental Visualisation For Manifestation
As mentioned earlier, the brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality. This means that when mentally visualising a desired outcome, it has the same effect on the brain’s neurology.
Consequently, you start to install the necessary neural networks in your brain associated with your desired outcome in the present moment and so your brain starts to look like what you are trying to manifest has already happened.
As a result, those new neural networks are literally subconscious programs that align you with the behaviours necessary to achieve your desired outcome in real life.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” ― Steve Jobs
Mental Visualisation is a practice that involves using our imagination to condition our brain and nervous system in order to achieve specific desired outcomes.
It is a powerful method that can be used to create changes in our thoughts, feelings and actions, as well as a tool to manifest specific outcomes in our lives.