There are many articles on written on positive thinking and optimistic attitude in the literature. The more I read them the more firmly I believe that positive thinking is so crucial for our happiness, success and well being. When people begin to think positively about their goals and aspirations, they increase the likelihood of achieving and attaining their goals. It is not about just thinking positive but it is equally important to visualize how you want to accomplish your goals. This process makes it easier as you begin to have a strong intention to work on your goals.
One of the most important elements of positive thinking is positive imaging. This means that you create a picture in your mind in which you actually visualize yourself doing whatever you want to do. These pictures and images that you generate have a powerful effect. Visualization can work for virtually any personal and professional goal. Athletes use the visualization to improve their performance like how to serve in a tennis game, basket the ball, hole in one, and making field goals. Many researchers like Dr. Seligman have contended that health problems can be alleviated through effective imaging. The only requisite is that you need to have a defined goal, a logical process to achieve your goals, and an attitude that reflects your burning desire to reach your goals. Baseball players visualize themselves at the plate, watching for the pitch and taking the perfect swing. A tennis player visualizes the exact position of the arm, right angle of the wrist, exactly how to hold the racket and taking a perfect swing to serve the tennis ball. Through the process of concentrating on an attainable goal and “visualizing” it attained, the athletes achieve their true potential. When they actually go in the tennis court and field, they are able to perform better in correspondence with their respective visualizations.
Visualization can be used to treat phobias and fears too. Writer has talked about imagery desensitization in the blog on Panic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The person simply imagines himself in a totally relaxed state of mind and visualizes the hierarchies of the phobic scene and imagines that he is relaxed as if he is sitting at the beach. Gradually, he begins to associate phobic scenes with relaxation This is possible because of the power of mind in making the person believe that it is really happening while he is only imagining in mind. It is very important to be creative in your imagination in order for the process to be successful. It is also important to use your five senses to re create the scene so that you are able to believe that it is really happening. You have to be focused and let not your mind wander on other things. You lose your power of visualization when you begin to get distracted. It is also like meditation. Hypno therapist use this technique to offer suggestions when the person is induced to a relaxed state.
To b successful in attaining your goals, there are three things that are important:
1. Set a reasonable goal
2. Believe you are capable of reaching them, and
3. Work at changing your thinking habits.
If your goals are fleeting in air and they do not have any direction, you will never take them seriously. Therefore it is important to think specifically, lay out a plan and how you want to achieve your goals. Then it will become easier to achieve what you want in life and make your aspirations real. Positive imaging can shake your mistaken beliefs and self doubts and remove the barriers and thus facilitate your chances of succeeding.
It has been found that imaging helps people in staying healthier. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, one of the famous proponents of positive thinking, has cited an example of a 97 years old man who encouraged his organs to do their jobs. Every morning this man jumped out of bed and paid respect to his body, starting with his brain and working down. He would thank God for his healthy stomach, kidneys, liver and so on. He would tell his organs how much he appreciated the fine job they are doing. He visualized all his organs doing well. With this kind of practice, one can cultivate the good habit of thinking positive and being grateful for good things in life. I have discussed the value of gratitude in other blogs like,” Are you Resentful?—-“, and “Are you Happy?—–“ I would refer the readers to these blogs for more details.
Imaging can be used to improve relationships with coworkers, family members and friends too. Suppose you have a bad relationship with a family member, my advice is to think of this person as someone you like, someone who can get along with you. Now create in your mind an image of relationship restored. You will need to put aside your negative feelings and learn to treat this person as a valued friend. You may not see instant result but with continued practice and persistence, you will find this person responding to you in a positive manner. That is why it is important to be aware of your expectations of others. People most likely deliver what you expect them to. This is also consistent with the Pygmalion hypothesis which also reflects this message. For example, if you give a label to a little child that he is shy, he will begin to act in a way that will reinforce his shyness and correspond to the label assigned to him. Same thing applies to you and others too. If you expect others to treat you well, they will but if you have firm beliefs about how they will treat you, they begin to get the message and start responding to the belief and correspond to your expectations and labels.
In this way, we see that mind is a powerful tool and positive imagery can work wonders. You won’t always get everything you visualize, but you will be better off thinking positive than you would believing you will never reach your goals.
Hypnosis can also help with positive imaging and visualization of the positive scene and attainment of goals. Please visit our Blossom Hypnotherapy page to learn how hypnosis can help reduce symptoms of Anxiety disorders.