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 techniques.
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 deeper."|
|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 honouring you at a quit-smoking banquet. Create your visualizations from the goals and affirmations you have written down.|