What is Visualisation?
It usually helps if you close your eyes, or you have a picture available the focus on. The idea is not just to “see” this other world, but to actually feel like you’re there as much as possible.
When you get the hang of it, you can take yourself away to a completely different universe, where everything is exactly as you want it. You can see why it’s so powerful!
We tend to mainly focus on sight, but in a really powerful visualisation, you can almost trick your other senses into entirely new experiences as well – perhaps you’ll pick up the scent of the rain forest now surrounding you, or feel a hint of a cold wind across your neck as you stand on the mountain you’ve always wanted to climb.
The thread of visualisation has always wound its way through history, and particularly religion – we use stories and meditation and prayer to take us away to another world, where we have a spiritual connection.
Today, visualisation is increasingly branching out into the non-religious realms as well; everyday people are using it just to relax, refocus, and recharge.
One of the biggest benefits of visualisation is that you can take it with you and perform it at any time (except maybe while you’re driving!) – it doesn’t cost anything, and fits into even a five minute break to really give you a boost again.
There is no one “right way” to use visualisation; you can ultimately use it to do whatever you want! With that said, there are a few common purposes that people (and us at Ripple!) find visualisation helps fulfill:
- Relax – Visualisation is used to take people to a gorgeous landscape (usually a natural one like a rain forest, but standing on top of a skyscraper can be fun too!), a fond memory, or even just a time when they remember being particularly happy. Placing themselves in that moment helps them build and maintain a positive attitude throughout the day. There are more tips here on how to relax.
- Focus – Lots of people use visualisation to build focus on their goals and what they really want out of life. Most famous entrepreneurs recommend it highly, and even new age authors have recognised its impact as well – for example, The Secret believes that visualising positive outcomes in your own life will naturally attract them to you. Visualising what you want helps remind you of your purpose and take action to accomplish it.
- Spirituality – We can’t forget that visualisation can also be used to build a spiritual connection, whether to a religious figure such as a god or idol, or just to the universe around you. Taking time out to really envision the beauty of the universe helps you stay in touch with it and feel at home.
How to Use Visualisation
- Rainforest Retreat – Close your eyes, and envision yourself in a luscious rainforest. You’re sitting on a moss covered rock, slightly cold to the touch… it overlooks a small lake, filled with perfectly clear water.
- A tall, thin waterfall pours rain from a recent thunderstorm down into the lake, and water droplets still occasionally fall off the surrounding trees.Visualise yourself being completely at peace, sitting on that rock.
- None of the stress of the outside world is relevant here – it’s just you and nature and the cycle of life all around you.
- Sunrise Illumination – Lie down, and picture yourself lying down on a beach, with the ocean very softly lapping away about ten metres in front of you. It’s dawn, but before sunrise – everything around you is lit up by a faint orange and purple glow.
- Slowly, the sun rises over the horizon.Visualise the light from the sun first hitting your toes, then wrapping around your feet. If you concentrate a lot, you might feel a “tingling” sensation – you’re focusing on all these nerves that you’d previously forgotten about, and tuned out from the messages they were sending to your brain.
- Keep that feeling! Now visualise the light slowly moving upwards and the sunshine spreading over your body – concentrate on your toes, feet, shins, calves, thighs, hips, belly, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, and then your neck and traps in order.
- Try to stay conscious of areas you’ve moved past – “revisit them” with the sunshine if necessary.Once you’re conscious of your entire body, just focus on coming to terms with this feeling of stillness and illumination.
- Let yourself relax and just lie there on the beach, bathing in sunlight and warmth. You can visualise yourself staying there, or “get up” and walk around with a renewed feeling of bliss.
We love these nature ones as an introduction to visualisation – they can be a little easier than trying to recall a certain memory, or think about how someone else (a loved one, a spiritual figure, etc.) might act in the daydream. Feel free to apply the same concepts to whatever world recharges you best; take some time out from your day, escape to another universe, and then come back to this one feeling on top of the world.
- These became really popular when The Secret came out and can be a useful tool in keeping your dreams and goals present in your mind. Of course you need to take action to make them happen, but just having pictures of what you desire on your wall is a constant subtle reminder of what you want to achieve.
- Simple to do, just print and cut out pictures of goals, places you want to go or even pictures that evoke a feeling you might like to have, and put up on a wall somewhere in your home or office.