Coaches often have their athletes visualize a perfect play or a flawless routine. As a kid in gymnastics, I did my beam routine in my head at least as many times as I did it in real life. It may seem weird, but visualization works. The brain doesn’t distinguish these mental images from life events. The things you visualize are recorded in your mind as real memories.[i] If practice makes perfect, it only makes sense that practicing in your head will deliver positive results—even when it comes to your mood!
Practical uses for visualization
So, what if there’s no game to practice for? You can always visualize your own game of life. What is it you want to achieve? Who do you want to be? What skills do you want to develop or enhance? We’re always growing and evolving. The direction we take is up to us!
But there’s no coach!
You can be your own coach for this one, but we can help. When we developed our Aromatherapy Bracelets, we added symbolic charms to serve as a visual reminder for certain intentions: Serenity, Perseverance and Ambition. These are represented by a Hamsa Hand, elephants and a hummingbird, respectively. In the absence of a coach telling you to see your own success, use the symbol to remind you of where you want to be. The charms will be with you all day, anytime you need a little reminder.
Visualization for serenity
If the stressors of life have you feeling like you simply can’t take on any more growth, perhaps your vision is how to stay calm and on-task to get through those hectic times. When you start to feel overwhelmed, go outside, close your eyes and breathe for one minute. Don’t check your phone, don’t look over your shoulder, just breathe. Visualize yourself pressing pause on life for a minute. Put your hand out like you’re motioning for someone to stop. Then think of how wonderful it feels to clear the chaos of your mind. We might not have ten minutes, but we can all likely spare one. Look at the Hamsa Hand on your Serenity Bracelet and think of yourself telling the world to pause so you can just catch up.
Visualization for perseverance
Somedays we just need to power through it. Take a minute (again, just one minute) close your eyes, and watch yourself ace the day with power and confidence. If you have a particularly tough task ahead, try to take a little more time to visualize yourself doing the task with cheerful confidence. If you’re a nervous flyer, visualize yourself safely on the fun side of your trip. Is public speaking your Achilles tendon? Walk yourself through your talk and watch yourself rock the room. As you go through your day, look at the elephants on your Perseverance Bracelet and recall those positive thoughts and all the confidence that goes with them!
Visualization for ambition
Maybe you’re ready to tackle the world… you just need a little push. What’s holding you back: the confidence to try it, self-doubt that you’ll finish it, the worry that you won’t succeed? Figuring out what you want to do is the first step. Now visualize what it will look like on the other end. Will you have a new job? A diploma? A health goal checked off your list? Doesn’t it feel good? Now look at the little hummingbird on your Ambition Bracelet and remember, this is a bird who, scientifically shouldn’t even be able to fly at all.[ii] Despite it being proven impossible, hummingbirds not only fly, but they’re the only species that can fly backward. Nothing is impossible!