You may look at a VisionBoard and think does this really work? Can I just look at a picture of a new sports car, or a new closet, and it’ll magically appear?
Well, no – not exactly. However, visualization does, in fact, work and there’s plenty of science to back it up.
Your brain is incredibly powerful and, everyday, you make subconscious decisions to make it work for you or against you. Several studies have shown that your brain can’t tell the difference between a real memory and something you vividly imagine. You can essentially trick your brain into thinking these things you want (but most often things you fear) are real, and a part of your life. This makes the unknown known and the imagined real.
So, why wouldn’t you use this Superpower of yours for good and not evil?
For example, if you have a big project or uncomfortable conversation coming up, instead of imagining all your fears of what could happen, try focusing only on what you want to happen. Your brain will think you’ve already completed the task, as it recognizes it as a real memory, thereby decreasing your anxiety and stress, and often increasing your chances of a positive outcome.
You can even improve your abilities at certain tasks, if you consistently visualize yourself practicing and successfully completing that task because the same part of your actually brain reacts as if you actually are practicing. This technique is used by countless world-class athletes, along with Oprah, Will Smith, and plenty more.
How does this really work, though? Our brains have a set of neurons, the reticular activating system (RAS), which act as a filter for information*. The RAS prevents our brains from being overwhelmed by unnecessary information, picking and choosing what we keep around. The RAS looks for data that reinforces your thoughts and belief systems, and by visualizing new goals, you can “reprogram” the RAS to retain even more valuable information.
Visualization works even better when you’re relaxed – in a deep relaxation, this is referred to as “self-hypnosis.” When you pair visualization with meditation, the results are even better (special shout out to Yoga Nidra here).
The proof is all there – and yet most of us don’t use this tool often! No, you can’t just cut and paste a picture of a villa in Italy and expect to be given that – but you can use these tools to manifest your goals and actions. And someone has a villa in Italy, so why not you?
Source: Emilie Pelletier ‘4 Scientific Reasons Why Visualization Will Increase Your Chances to Succeed’