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. Our Section on Stress Prevention and Reduction provides information on additional approaches.
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 their 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.
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.
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.
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