Train Your Brain: Visualization

Train Your Brain

How can you soothe stress, boost optimism, and make progress towards your goals so that you are truly thriving at work?

Try using a visualization strategy.  Studies show that visualizations and mental imagery impact attention, planning, and memory. They “train” the brain, helping to boost motivation, increase confidence and improve performance.

Our brains cannot tell the difference between a sensory-rich visualization and something actually occurring.  In other words, when you visualize an action you stimulate the same areas in the brain as if you were actually performing that action.

How can you utilize this brain-training tool to thrive at work? Try out the three visualization strategies below:

Visualization Micro-Break: Take a visualization micro-break to soothe stress and relax.

  • Close your eyes and imagine you are in your favorite spot, or imagine yourself doing your favorite thing. Be sure to imagine not only the sights, but also the smells, the sounds, and the tactile sensations.

Visualize your Best Possible Future: Visualize your best possible future to get a boost in optimism about your career and your calling.

  • How: Close your eyes and visualize all the aspects of your best possible future three years from now at work. In your ideal world three years from now, what projects will you be working on? Who will you work with? What position will you hold?

Visualize Achieving Your Goal: Visualizing the progress and achievement of a goal can actually grow brain cells in that area of your brain, meaning we can literally become better able to accomplish a project or goal if we spend time visualizing each step.

  • How: Visualize the steps, from start to finish, that it will take to achieve your goal. Be sure to visualize how you will achieve each step, paying particular attention to how it feels. Emphasize a positive outcome to boost optimism and prepare yourself to cope with the reality of the progress toward your goal.

Bonus! Mindful Relaxation Visualization: For an extra boost in relaxation, try this mindful visualization right now:

  • Imagine that the act of inhaling seems to gather up all of the tension from your body into your lungs. Then imagine that exhaling serves to dispel the tension; visualizing this stress as a cloud leaving your body and dissipating into the air.

Using visualizations and mental imagery are a great way to soothe stress and relax, feel optimistic about the future, and make progress towards goals. You can use this tool to boost not only your happiness, but your productivity at work. For an even bigger impact, pair visualizations with taking action.


This article originally appeared on HappyBrainScience.com.
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