Visualization is a process that creates images to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas. Examples from history include cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek geometry, and Leonardo da Vinci’s revolutionary methods of technical drawing for engineering and scientific purposes. Today, visualization has far-reaching applications in science, engineering, education, interactive multimedia and medicine.
Visualization involves forming a mental image of something pleasant as a way of relaxing, or reducing stress. The activity is often combined with making oneself comfortable by lying down, or sitting up straight with the legs uncrossed, and taking slow breaths. Then, with the eyes closed, one visualizes a peaceful nature scene, accomplishing an important goal, or something else that would give great pleasure.
Sometimes, a person receives directions on how to relax his/her mind and body, and sometimes a lit candle, or incense, with a relaxing aroma is used in the area of visualization, as well as soft music.
Guided imagery is a stress management technique, where you use your imagination to picture a person, place, or time that makes you feel relaxed, peaceful and happy. Visualization is slightly different from other stress management techniques, in that it relies on the use of all of your senses.
While some people use visualization for stress reduction, others search for a deeper self-awareness. As a result, they often find answers to challenging long-term questions or issues.
Health benefits of visualization or guided imagery
Imagery has a positive effect on heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and oxygen rates, brain waves, temperature, and hormone balance. Guided imagery can help relieve symptoms caused or made worse by stress, such as: chest pain (angina), high blood pressure, high blood glucose, headaches and digestive and breathing problems.
Other benefits of visualization
- Improves your performance.
- Helps you reach your potential.
- Reduces stress.
- Brings joy into your life.
- Increases focus.
- Can spark inspiration.
- Boosts confidence.
- If you’re sick, it can make you better faster.
- Makes you more creative.
- Can help you overcome nervousness.
Other ways of thinking of visualization
- Forming a mental image of something, or making something visible to the eye
- Recalling or forming mental images or pictures of something
- Imagining something in a way that breaks free from stress.
Visualization is considered to be one of many relaxation techniques. Pleasant visualizations deepen the feeling of relaxation. Visualization is a powerful self-development tool. You can also use creative visualization for spiritual growth.
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