Athletes do it, business men do it and sportsmen wouldn't be without it. I am of course talking about using the power of your mind to help you achieve your goals and create change.
There are many techniques available to help you solve problems and create change. Mental rehearsal, visualization and guided imagery techniques, all use images as a form of ‘language’ to appeal to that part of your brain that can ‘communicate’ with your body to help bring about physical changes, or to help you change an inner template of unhelpful feelings or beliefs. Of them all, guided imagery is probably the easiest to practice on your own.
So here are my top 10 tips to help you get the most from your inner journeys.
1. To begin, make sure that you are really clear about what you want your outcome to be. Add as much detail to your goal as you can, as this will help your subconscious mind understand clearly what it is that you want to achieve.
2. Take the time to put pen to paper and write down what you want to get out of this exercise. This gives you a very practical way of getting information from the ‘back of your mind’ or the unconscious mind (where it is fairly useless to you), into your conscious awareness where it can be used.
3. Next, choose a peaceful place, where you won't be disturbed, somewhere where you can rest deeply or even fall asleep afterwards if you would like to.
4. When you're ready, make sure that you have somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down and begin with some deep breathing. This will help you to relax and focus your attention in the inner world of your imagination.
5. Be your own movie director and visualise everything that you want for yourself in graphic detail. Include as much sensory information as possible. This is important as your brain usually cannot tell the difference between something that is vividly imagined or actually experienced for real.
6. Set your intention for what you want, to come to you easily and offer gratitude for already having this thing in your life. Acting ‘as if ‘ is another powerful technique to help bring about change.
7. Learn from others. An easy way to get started is to take an existing visualisation or guided imagery script and rewrite it for your own personal and private needs. This is an easy way of learning how to give your script some rhythm and structure.
8. Record your own voice if possible. Your subconscious mind will recognise the ‘authority’ of your own voice, making your imagery and suggestions even more powerful. You don't need any expensive equipment to do this, but remember to speak slowly and softly and to use words that are entirely positive.
9. if you're making your own recordings remember that they should never be played whilst you are driving, or performing any activity that requires your external conscious awareness, as you will need to focus all of your attention in the inner world of your imagination.
10. Finally, keep it simple. Don't try and do too much on your first session. Just pick one aspect of what it is that you want to achieve. This will help make the results more measurable and give you the confidence to carry on.
Just as with any other tool for change it's really important that you can measure your progress, over time. So make sure that your goals are both measurable and realistic.
How long it will take to see results depends on what you want to achieve and on if you have any deeply rooted beliefs that might be stopping you from getting what you want. Ideally you should allow 2- 3 weeks of regular practice before assessing your progress.
Remember change can happen very quickly it is the not changing that takes a long time!
Anne Marshall is a Vitality Coach and Consultant. Go to http://www.enhancingvitality.com/audio.html to listen to some sample audios, or http://www.enhancingvitality.com/E-zine.html for further articles and free downloads.