Visualization Meditation All You Need to Know

Jul 1, 2021 | Meditation

Written by Dr. Sujata Chougule, MD
visualization meditation

Nowadays to reduce stress and tension, people tend to meditate. Meditation is the process which unites the mind and body. While sitting in one place, we try to avoid thoughts, we fight with them and  it becomes a very hard process. But what if there is a way when you can imagine or create a thought during meditation? Does it simplify your meditation? Of course! In this article, we will explore a new method of meditation: The Visualization Meditation!

As the name indicates, it is a process to visualize during meditation. But what do we visualize? You can imagine one place where you feel peaceful and happy! You can imagine or create something you like but that should be related to your real life.

The simple definition of visualization is “the formation of a mental image of something.” It is an act of creating an image in your mind. The simple example is if you want to take a long vacation with your family, you can imagine you are roaming in Paris with your family.

This method of visualization is well tasted by many athletes, and big achievers! It seems unbelievable but it’s true. Here are some famous quotes by celebrities about visualization method-

Arnold Schwarzenegger – As a young athlete to rich his body building goals. Afterwards his transition to acting and political careers; he gave credit to the power of visualization. He refers to it as a mental trick: : “It’s the same process I used in bodybuilding: What you do is create a vision of who you want to be — and then live that picture as if it were already true.”

Will Smith – The award-winning actor believes in the law of attraction; always gives credit to visualization techniques for his achievements and happiness. In his words, he always says,  “In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet,”

Oprah Winfrey – The media famous personality who is one of the wealthiest women in the world. She showed many success stories of positive thinking on her show- The Oprah Winfrey show! She is a believer of positive thinking and she quotes, “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe. ”


HOW TO DO VISUALIZATION ?

Here you are free to imagine about places such as beaches, hill areas, islands and the situations which make you happy, dreams you want to achieve. You can take help of music for better visualization e.g. if you want to imagine a beach, listen to the sounds of the waves, ocean. If you want to enjoy your meditation in the mountains, listen to the chirping of birds or the wind of trees.

Receptive Visualization:  This method is useful to create favorable situations in your mind.

Sit in a relaxed position. Close your eyes. Keep your hands on your thigh. Breath in and out. Imagine the scene and the place where you want to be in that moment. Then add people whom you want with you on that special occasion.

Love-Mindful Meditation:  This method is helpful to overcome traumatic events in your life. This method will help you to face that situation again and again with a different mindset.

Sit in a calm place, relax yourself and close your eyes gently. Now recreate  your past traumatic events like accidents, quarrels with your partner. During meditation, while exhaling try to reduce the negativity which you felt when it happened! If you do it regularly, it will train your mind to visualize those traumatic events the way you imagined.

Plan A Map Techniques:  This will help you to achieve short goals of your life, like to win first prize in cooking competition or in essay writing.

In this method, first figure out your plan to achieve success. Draw it on the paper. And keep that map in your mind while doing visualization. This is time consuming because our mind takes time to absorb the plan.

Meditation Visualization:  This will help you meditate in a better way. If you are not good at visualization, then this method is for you. Before starting meditation, do you think about why you are meditating ? During the meditation focus on those thoughts. This will keep you motivated to achieve the goal.

These techniques will boost your imagination power and help to do better meditation.


VISUALIZATION  AND  MEDITATION:

It seems contradictory to the process of meditation! How can visualization help to meditate and achieve victories?

In meditation the relaxation of the body, achieved through our mind. Our mind is the controller of our action-reactions and even our physiological process. Brain is the location of our mind. Different parts of our brain control our body parts.  Our vision and imagination are controlled by the occipital lobe of the head. Occipital lobe occupies 20% of the brain’s overall capacity. This center is so powerful, it can imagine or create hypothetical situations or picture images also! For the visualization process, we try to use this power of our brain for meditation.

The things you want to achieve, you should think about them during meditation. It is the base of visualization meditation. If you do early morning meditation with a specific vision of your successful future; it can motivate you for the whole day. It is a gift, as a human you possess! Other than humans, no one in this world has the power of imagination. So, use this gift to boost your confidence. 

In short, we use visualization techniques to control our mind. If you read about the law of attraction, it’s easy to understand the idea of visualization meditation.

The law of attraction- “  based on the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person’s life. The belief is based on the ideas that people and their thoughts are made from “pure energy” and that a process of like energy attracts like energy exists through which a person can improve their health, wealth, and personal relationships.

Similarly in this process , you put together some visuals of a situation which you want to manifest in your life. In this way, with the help of  thoughts, you put your goals in the Universe, which will help you to achieve them.

The basic idea behind the visualization method is when you focus on a specific event, goals regardless of whether you are thinking about the past, future or present; it triggers your neurochemicals, stimulates the brain the same way as you are performing it in a present moment. This whole process with meditation guides your relaxed mind toward specific outcomes, which you want to happen in your life.


TYPES OF VISUALIZED MEDITATION

Guided meditation is useful at the beginning of meditation. Then slowly you can move with your own script of visualized meditation.

The place where you sit should be clean, calm and without any interruptions. Sit in a comfortable position. Like sitting in a cross-legged position, or on the chair cushion. Just remember to keep your back erect. Keep your hands in a relaxed position on your thighs. Or place them below your naval by keeping both palms together facing upward. Gently close your eyes. Keep a sweet smile on your face.

Focus on your breath and start the meditation.


Guided Meditation

There are many audios, videos are available for visualization meditation. This is useful at the beginning of your meditation journey. Here you can imagine the situations or places where you feel relaxed. You can use your senses like touch, hearing, smell for better experience. Sit in a calm place, in a relaxed position. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Slowly try to imagine a place where you feel most relaxed, happy. If you like the seaside, or mountain, try to listen to audio recordings which describe the nature of beaches and mountains with a background music of sea waves or birds’ voices.
Feel the warmth of the beachside or the coldness of the mountains. Breathe the clear air of the sea or hillside. Enjoy the visualization as you are present in such places at that moment. Slowly the guided voice will bring you to reality. But it will help you to relax more and keep your energy positive for the whole day.


Focus On Energy Chakras With Color Meditation:

Our body contains 7 energy points, which are chakras. These centers are nerve bundles and internal organs. If you focus on these points, it creates harmony in physical, emotional, and mental health. It produces balance in our body. These 7 points have a specific color. While doing meditation if we visualize these particular colors it will help us to do an effective meditation. The meditation color for the root chakra at the base of the spine is red. The meditation color or the sacral or emotional energy point ( sacral region) is orange. The meditation color for the naval point is yellow. The meditation color for the heart point ( at the sternum) is green. The meditation color for the throat chakra is blue. The meditation color for the eye point (in between two eyes) is indigo. The meditation color for the crown point is violet.
Lie down on your back or sit in a relaxed position. Close your eyes gently and focus on breathing. Now focus on your first chakra, Root chakra and imagine red emerging from this point. While visualizing this image do the 5 times deep breathing. Now slowly focus on your next energy point that is sacral chakra. Do the same visualization with the respective color of that point. In this way, you focus on visualization points from below to upwards till crown chakra. When you finish with all energy points, relax for a few minutes, and finish the meditation.
This method is also known as visualizing color meditation.


Visualizing Meditation On The Deity

In Hinduism or Buddhism, there are Gods or Goddesses who possess powers. People worship those powers so it will help them to fulfill their wishes. In this meditation, you think about a person, to whom you admire and want to have some good qualities like him. For someone he or she must be his master, idol or for someone that must be a divine power or god. Sit in a relaxed position in a calm place. Close your eyes gently and keep your hands on your thighs. Breathe in and breathe out for a few minutes. Now create an image of that person or God. And think that he is sitting in front of you, and he is transmitting his good qualities to you. Focus on that image for a minimum of 5-10 minutes. Slowly you can increase your time. Slowly finish your meditation.

This visualization method helps you to become a good person and keep you motivated throughout the meditation process also. This method is elaborated in Buddhism meditation. Mostly in Tibetan Tantric Visualization Meditation, where they visualize Buddha deity during meditation.


Visualize Meditation With A Zone

Mental rehearsal. As the name suggests, we create a zone of visuals which we want to achieve. This method is helpful for sports persons. For the best results, do this meditation in the early morning or before going to bed. Sit on your bed relaxed, keep your spine straight. Close your eyes gently and focus on your breathing. While taking a deep breath, think about your goal. During meditation, imagine the day or moment when you will achieve the goal. Imagine that you are celebrating your success with your team, support staff and family. Stay in this state of mind for 5-10 minutes and afterwards relax yourself.

This visualization keeps you motivated and increases your focus during the preparation. One study published in Journal of sport science and medicine about mental imagination and performance of athletes demonstrates that ‘ the imagination of mind has greater effects on strength performance . In addition, this review suggests that visualization might be helpful in preventing the strength losses that occur during immobilization or in sport injury.


Visualization Meditation For Relaxation Of Body

This one is a quick process of relaxation for every body part including muscles, bones, and joints. During the meditation, you should focus on a single body part at one time. Lie down on your back or sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. After 5 deep breathing, focus on your toes, feet. When you take deep breath feel the tension over that body part and while exhaling think that stress is going out and your body part is relaxed now. Slowly focus on your legs, knees, thighs, hands, back side of your body, front side, head, and face. In this way you focus on each part of the body and make your body relax, stress free. This is more effective when you do the meditation under the guidance of the yoga-teacher. There are many audios available, which you can use for relaxation.


BENEFITS OF VISUALIZATION

Helps To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

The visualization meditation helps to reduce anxiety and stress as well as helps to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder with a love-compassion method of meditation. During visualization, the focus should be on your thought process. If you create images of positive changes, happy moments it will help you to overcome stress and anxiety situations.

The study published in Frontier psychology shows that, ‘Nature based visualization meditation reduces anxiety.’ A total of 48 participants who are suffering from anxiety are selected for this study. The study demonstrates that exposure to natural scenes produces an effective response of our nervous system to reduce anxiety.


Useful In Pain Management

‘During meditation focus on your pain and while breathing out think that the pain is going out from my body.’ If you do this meditation repeatedly it will help for pain management. It does not matter the type of pain, physical or emotional pain.

The randomized control study of evaluation of imagery treatment in recurrent abdominal pain of 22 children shows promising effects. The children with guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation intervention have less painful days than the non-controlled group.


Boost Your Confidence And Focus

Athletes and big celebrities achieve success in their life with the help of goal-oriented visualization. E.g. Jim Carrey, Will Smith. When you meditate with images of your success. The law of attraction helps you to achieve the desirable outcome.

One of the research articles about Buddhist yogis published in psychological science states that the process of manipulating and transforming visual patterns and images during meditation will help to enhance your physical and mental working capabilities.


An Intervention For Mental Disorders

There are very limited options available to treat mental disorders. In future, visualization can be an important aspect of the treatment.

Functional mechanism of imagery and its clinical application discovers that. ‘ Science driven mental imagery techniques contribute to the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying psychopathology. These mechanisms help to target in improving treatments of mental disorders.


Increase The Performance At Work

If you perform visualization meditation in the early morning, it will keep you active for a whole day. The thought of your goal remains at the subconscious level of the mind which helps to enhance your performance level.

The mindful skills act on physiological and psychological aspects and enhance the performance outcome of athletes at least in precision sports like darting.


Improve Your Sleep And Boost Immunity

Visualization methods for relaxation of your body muscles help your body to relieve physical and emotional stress. This induces good deep sleep.

When you practice color or energy point meditation, it creates hormonal emotional and physiological balance which indirectly boost your immunity.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Visualization meditation is a simple way of meditation, as you have freedom of thinking.

If you are confused about your goal in life, it will help you to decide it. If you want to increase focus and productivity in your work or life, this one is the best and easiest way for it. If you want to overcome emotional disturbances, fear, and post-traumatic stress disorder, do think about it.

You just want relaxation and a 5 minutes break from your busy schedule. Do visual meditation for body relaxation. The visualization meditation has answers for your many life situations! For your successful life, give yourself one chance and try visualization meditation.

Article Sources

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