mind is a powerful "device." This device can be used for positive or negative
purposes. You win or lose in life based on the way you "run" your mind. Much of
running your mind involves visualizing--visualizing what has already happened in your
life, as well as what may happen, good or bad.
Visualization is very similar to what our teachers and parents may have called "day
dreaming." Children excel at day dreaming and playing "make believe." As we
grow older, we tend to suppress our daydreams because of pressures to conform to society's
practical approach. Day dreaming or visualization allows us to create bright, fun,
fantastic futures for ourselves. Unfortunately, visualization for adults becomes scenarios
of unfounded fears, drudgery, regretful memories or just plain darkness.
You never lose your ability to visualize. Instead, you change your visualization to
"practical" and logical thoughts. And often, adults do have vivid visualizations
but of the negative doom and gloom, "the worst thing that can happen" variety.
How often have you let your mind race with pictures of disaster and destruction? You see
yourself lashed to a whipping post, being beaten by an IRS auditor, or you see your doctor
telling you the pain in your head is a malignant brain tumor.
Your mind can just as easily show you a refund check from the IRS or a "clean bill of
health" from the routine physical.
The problem and the opportunity with
visualization is that your mind doesn't know truth from fiction when it evaluates the
visions in your mind. Your mind simply accepts the visualization as reality.
An example of this is the effect a
scary movie may have on you. When the movie Jaws came out in 1975 many people were so
frightened by it that they would go nowhere near a beach or lake. Some people were even
afraid to take a bath or shower. The mental images of this monster shark took over the
mind's rational ability to think and allowed people to imagine sharks coming out of the
showerhead. For these people the experience was so real that they changed their actions in
the physical world. This is an extreme example, yet it is typical of the way that
imagination and visualization can affect your physical existence.
In your mind you can create many different scenarios for yourself. You can visualize good
or bad events. Your mind tends to act on these visualizations. Whatever you imagine, your
mind will accept as real. In time your mind will work to "fulfill" your
thoughts, creating them in reality. Think negative thoughts, create negative results.
Think positive thoughts, create positive results.
Much has been written on
visualization, and you should seek some more in-depth information on visualization
Here are some quick tips for using visualization to help you quit smoking:
||Visualization often begins with
affirmations--positive statements you make to yourself. State your affirmations positively
and as if you already have what you are affirming. If possible, state your affirmations
aloud, five to ten times.
||Some examples of positive
affirmations include: "I enjoy breathing easily and deeply," "I am free
from any desire to smoke," "My hands and teeth are clean and smoke free,"
"I enjoy being around non-smokers," and "I am relaxed and calm."
||Write down some goals for yourself,
relating to smoking. For example, "I will quit smoking by the last day of
March," or "My body no longer desires nicotine," or "I will take a
vacation to Mexico next year with the money I save by not smoking."
||To create deep visualizations that
can profoundly affect you, relaxation is very important. To relax you should sit in a
comfortable chair and close your eyes. Begin breathing long, deep breaths. Imagine
yourself at the top of a staircase. Count down from ten to one, breathing once per number.
As you count down, imagine yourself walking or even floating down the stairs. In between
breaths repeat statements like "I'm getting very relaxed," and "going
||Once you reach the count of
"one" (and the bottom of the steps), let your mind wander for a minute or two.
Then begin focusing on the affirmations and goals you have created for yourself. Don't be
concerned if you don't immediately see anything. You may only see cloudy or fleeting
images. That's okay. With practice your visualizations will become more vivid.
||Focus on controlling the images,
however faint they may be. If you have set a goal to quit smoking by the end of March, see
yourself throwing all your cigarettes and ashtrays away on March 31. Try visualizing a
package of cigarettes, then make it "explode." Visualize your lungs as very
clean and healthy. Visualize socializing with non-smokers. Visualize yourself effortlessly
running a marathon. Visualize your friends and loved ones honoring you at a quit-smoking
banquet. Create your visualizations from the goals and affirmations you have written down.
By Fred H. Kelley
© Copyright 1997 Fred H. Kelley