There is a famous quote traditionally attributed to the famous film producer Walt Disney that says: “If you can dream it, you can do it”. Although in principle it may sound a bit utopian, there are a number of techniques to which this phrase could well apply.
Creative visualization is one of them . This cognitive-based technique is based on a precept very similar to that of this famous quote. Below, we explain what it consists of and how we can practice it.
What is creative visualization?
Creative visualization is a cognitive technique in which, using our imaginations, we create a series of mental images in which we project our goals .
The aim of this creative visualization of our goals and the vital changes we want to achieve is to increase our self-esteem, self-confidence and to make it easier for us to cope with these changes .
Moreover, the practice of this technique can help us to modify our emotions and feelings about our future, facilitating the experience of a welfare both at an individual psychological level, as well as at social level.
Creative visualization is not about anything mystical or enigmatic, it is about using our imagination to modify our thoughts . Having positive thoughts and images about what we want can unconsciously condition us to achieve it.
In reality, we use creative visualization practically every day, we are just not aware of it and we don’t do it in an orderly or regulated way.
An aid to lead us to action
This technique is not as easy as it seems. We cannot reach our dreams just by imagining them . Each person, because of his or her beliefs, has certain limitations when it comes to changing certain aspects of his or her life.
Therefore, it is necessary to keep an open mind and overcome our limiting beliefs. It is not enough to fantasize. This will take a little time, but with practice we will get things started to change.
Almost all of us, think repeatedly about everything around us. We spend hours ruminating on thoughts about our current situation, continually recreating the same kind of circumstances. However, with creative visualization we can modify these thoughts and visualize what we want to change .
Guidelines for Creative Visualization
There are some discrepancies in the guidelines for creative visualization. Some assumptions such as the computational theory of images, has developed a series of regulated and ordered guidelines. However, other theorists or practitioners are much more flexible when it comes to drawing up rules for their practice.
However, they all have several points in common. Here are a few steps to follow in order to carry out the creative visualization in a satisfactory way.
1. Have clear objectives
First of all it is essential to know what we want to achieve. Being clear about our objectives is essential to be able to focus on them.
Also, a key requirement is that these are realistic and sensible so that we can take them on board well. For example, even if we spend every day imagining that we have won the lottery, this is neither realistic nor in our hands; so it is unlikely that we will succeed.
2. Generating mental images
Once we are clear about what we want to achieve, we make way for the mental generation of these images. Using processes of memory and imagination we must mentally recreate those situations or metar that we want to achieve.
It is important to use all our senses and be as concrete as possible.
3. Maintaining creative visualization
This means intentionally preserving and sustaining these images in time . To do this we can settle in a quiet place without distractions, we breathe deeply and mentally reproduce these images.
It is advisable to carry out this practice at least twice a day for about 10-15 minutes . Creating a routine is essential so that these images do not decay or degenerate over time.
4. Inspect the images
During this phase, we must inspect the mental image once we have created and maintained it for a while.
We need to explore it carefully and make sure it is as we want it. As well as perceiving what feelings and emotions it generates in us and making sure they are positive.
5. Transforming images
Finally, once the image has been inspected we can modify or alter it according to whether it causes negative emotions or not . If there is something in it that does not convince us, we should reflect again and find that point that provides us with well-being and seems satisfactory to us.
Tips for creative visualization
In addition to the steps to follow for the creative visualization of mental images that reflect our goals, there are a series of recommendations for this technique to be carried out effectively.
First of all, and as mentioned above, we must develop our openness of mind. Keeping an open mind is essential to adapt to and manage the changes around us. As well as to be able to identify the opportunities that are presented to us in life.
In addition, it is vital to maintain a positive attitude towards our mental images. Through the use of reinforcing thoughts and words we can combat our doubts and negative thoughts.
Finally, as with everything we set out to do, we must be constant and believe in ourselves. If we stop trying right away , we will probably never succeed.
In the therapeutic field, creative visualization aims to give the patient tools to face the difficulties or setbacks that are inherent in the passing of life.
This technique, guided by a professional in psychology or mental health , allows the person to replace those images or thoughts that maintain or worsen their current situation, with others that provide solutions to their problems and therefore greater psychological well-being.
The goal is to educate the patient in creating mental images that change their perspective of the problem and provide plausible solutions.