All about Visualization Meditation and how to practice it
Be the best version of yourself, by combining meditation and visualization techniques. In this article, we will show you how it’s done!
What is Visualization Meditation?
Meditation is about training your mental focus by focusing on your breath, an object or a mantra. Over time, you should learn to calm yourself down and let your thoughts flow freely. Visualization, on the other hand, is a method based on your imagination. You take a positive image, a mantra or a situation and let it unfold before your inner eye. In visualization meditation, you combine meditation and visualization practices and pay more attention to your breathing during visualization.
In short, in visualization meditation, the object of meditation on which you focus is the visualization.
Visualization Meditation in Buddhism
In Buddhism, visualization has been part of the meditation practice for hundreds of years. While meditating, Buddhists imagine an object, which they focus on in the further course of their meditation. In their imagination, they view the object from all angles, pay attention to every detail and thus dive deeper and deeper into the meditation.
For some Buddhists, this object they focus on is a deity. Because the appearance of a god is secondary, they focus more on the attributes of the deity. The goal of visualization in Buddhism is to reach enlightenment and find out who you actually are.
Visualization Meditation benefits
Visualization Meditation brings a lot of scientifically proven benefits such as:
- lowered stress levels
- increased self-confidence
- better physical performance
- greater ability to cope with pain
- longer, less interrupted sleep
- increased compassion for other people
- relief of anxiety and depression symptoms
and many more.
Why is visualization so powerful?
Visualization meditation helps you to develop a more positive attitude towards others and yourself. You will learn to let go of negative thoughts, build new habits and solve your problems on your own. Since your dreams and wishes are the focus of the meditation, it helps you to draw a clearer picture of your future.
Visualization meditation enables you to better prepare yourself for life’s challenges and to concentrate on the important things. Over time, you will notice how you gain a completely new perspective that will help you to deal with daily challenges in a more relaxed way and to look more positively and motivated into the future.
How to practice Visualization Meditation
Visualization Meditation for sleep
We all know the problem: For hours, we keep having trouble staying awake, but as soon as we go to bed, we feel as alert as a bell. To meditate yourself into sleep, do the following:
- Close your eyes and imagine a place where you have recently felt completely relaxed. This can also have been a very specific situation. For example, think back to your last holiday.
- Dive deeply into the chosen place and imagine it with as many details as possible. How was the weather at that moment, did your nose notice anything in particular? Were there any sounds that added to your relaxation? Use all your senses and try to remember everything.
- Spend a few minutes in your place of relaxation. If you are meditating in bed, you can also gently glide from your visualization into your dreams.
Guided meditations for sleeping
For beginners, it is often easier to be guided into meditation. Have a look at YouTube to see if a guided meditation visualization appeals to you. You should listen to several speakers before choosing a meditation.
Sometimes the voice alone makes the meditation hard to listen to. Some images will also help you relax better than others. Be patient and experiment a little.
Visualisation Meditation techniques for athletes
Visualization Meditation for pain relief
No matter if you want to treat physical or mental pain, visualization meditation is always based on the same principle: During meditation you relax your muscles and thus help to reduce pain.
With your eyes closed, imagine yourself being massaged, taking a relaxing bath or lying on the beach. It can also be helpful to imagine how the pain is exhaled with each breath.
Visualisation Meditation for healing
Similar to meditation for pain, you can use mental images to heal yourself. Just imagine how you patch up the part of your body that needs healing. Allow broken bones to grow together in front of your inner eye and fresh scar tissue to become healthy skin again. Perhaps it can also help you if you imagine how the part of your body to be healed is surrounded by a warm, bright aura.
Visualisation Meditation for success
Have you ever heard the proverb “Faith moves mountains”? In the case of Jim Carrey, that saying is more than true. The popular comedian was not always as successful as today. In fact, before his success, he was practically broke. But instead of giving up his career and looking for a normal job, Carrey wrote himself a cheque for 10 million dollars and always carried it with him. He looked at it every morning and imagined what it would be like to have $10 million.
You can guess how this story ends: About five years later, Carrey’s role in “Dumb and Dumber” was actually going to earn him $10 million. Coincidence, you say? We believe that the power of visualization played a major role in his success.
In Carrey’s story, three components played a role:
- One, he knew which path he wanted to take. Carrey knew that he wanted to be a comedian and that he would achieve his goal along that path.
- Two: His goal was achievable. If Carrey had chosen a career as a craftsman, a cheque for 10 million would have been too ambitious a goal. There are no craftsmen who could earn that kind of money. However, for actors and comedians, this salary is quite reasonable.
- Three: He focused on nothing else. If Carrey had pursued his dream part-time, he would have lost important opportunities.
Commit yourself to your goal every day by looking at a desired object or a mental image during your meditation. This object can be a cheque as in the example above, but also a picture of yourself winning a marathon or signing the contract as the CEO of your company. You set your goal individually.
The mental rehearsal involves performing an imaginary mental exercise as opposed to the actual exercise. That is, when you engage in a mental rehearsal, you imagine yourself performing without actually having to do anything.
Studies show, that experiencing success increases confidence, even if you only imagine the experience beforehand.
How to perform a mental rehearsal:
- Close your eyes and start focusing on your breath. As you exhale, imagine the stress leaving your body.
- Scan your body starting at your feet, then your legs up to your chest and your shoulders to the top of your head.
- Concentrate on the specific challenging task. Tell yourself that you have everything it takes to perform this task successfully. Repeatedly tell yourself that you will be successful.
- Picture yourself starting the difficult task. Go through every aspect of it. For example, imagine yourself holding a pen and writing an important exam or playing your next football game.
- Imagine yourself fulfilling the task successfully. Stay relaxed. Repeat this step multiple times.
- Open your eyes as soon as you are convinced, that you will be successful. Try to treasure the feeling of having achieved what you set out to do.
Visualization Meditation techniques
In this section, you will find two scenes, which you can visualize during the meditation. The goal is to immerse yourself in a scene to such an extent that you can relax completely.
Serene Beach Scene Technique
With this technique you imagine yourself walking along a beautiful, quiet beach.
- Take a deep breath through your stomach, hold the air for a few seconds and watch your abdominal wall rise as your lungs fill with air. Then slowly exhale again and feel your body relax more deeply with each breath.
- Imagine walking along a quiet, welcoming beach. Enjoy the beach with all your senses: Feel the warm sun on your face, the grains of sand under your feet. Listen to the sound of the sea and feel the sea breeze brushing against your skin. Look out to the sea and gaze into the deep, seemingly endless water. Continue to breathe in and out deeply and let the salty air of the sea flow through you.
- As you walk along the beach, imagine a beach chair in the distance. Walk slowly towards it and once you reach it, sink slowly into it and feel the remaining tension floating off you.
- Stay in this position for a few minutes and continue breathing in and out deeply. Enjoy the moment.
- Slowly return from your short vacation by slowly opening your eyes and moving your limbs. Notice how relaxed and refreshed you feel after this exercise.
Meditate sitting or lying down and make sure that you are not interrupted during the session.
Pure Light Technique
Sit comfortably with your back upright, relax your body and close your eyes. Alternatively, you can lie down on a bed, as long as you do not fall asleep.
Start by focusing your attention on your breathing. Breathe in and out slowly without straining your lungs. Do this a few more times to calm down and prepare for the following exercise:
- Imagine that you are surrounded by a glowing sphere of pure light. Feel the peace that comes down on you.
- As you inhale, imagine yourself breathing in the light. Hold your breath for a moment so that the light completely fills your body.
- As you exhale, imagine the tension leaving your body in the form of black smoke. Visualize this thick smoke coming out of your pores and dissolving completely in the pure light around you.
- Breathe in and out another three to four times. Take time to draw the pure light into different areas of your body, pause for a moment and then release your worries in the form of black smoke. As the smoke leaves your body, imagine your physical, emotional or mental wounds healing.
- Finally, take a deep breath and let the pure light fill your entire body. Open your eyes slowly and begin stretching a little.
More visualization techniques to include in your meditation
Vision Board technique
A vision board is a visualization tool with which you create a collage of words and images that represent your goals and dreams.
It doesn’t matter if you buy a professional board or if you create one out of cardboard. The important thing is, that you place it somewhere, you can look at it frequently and imaging that your dreams have already become true.
Why it is important to look at your Dream Board every day
Visualization activates the creative forces of your subconscious mind and programs your brain to recognize available resources that have always been there but have escaped your attention.
Through the law of attraction, you will soon meet people, find resources or see new possibilities that help you reach your goal.
How to create your Vision Board
- Make a list of goals. What do you want to achieve in the coming year? Understand exactly what your ideal life should look like and what you need to achieve in the next 12 months to get closer to your goals.
- Collect pictures. Buy some magazines depicting successful people in your niche. Find and cut out pictures that represent your goals and inspire you.
- Make a collage. When you have collected enough photos, it is time to create your dream board. Use a large poster, a cardboard or buy a professional vision board online. If you don’t know, how big it should be, try arranging the pictures on the floor, before getting a board.
- Add positive affirmations. Positive affirmations should be words or sentences that motivate you and represent how you want to feel when reaching your goal. Use a list of adjectives to help describe your future self. When finished, write them down on a piece of paper or cut them out of one of your magazines.
- Place your vision board, where you can see it every day. We recommend you look at your vision board at least twice a day. Take a few moments to visualize yourself according to your dream board.
4 Tips for your Vision Board
1. Visualize before going to bed
The thoughts and images that are present in your mind during the last forty-five minutes before going to bed will be repeated subconsciously all night long. Therefore, the time you spend visualizing just before going to bed is incredibly powerful.
2. Be grateful for your achievements
Do not remove the pictures or images that represent the goals you have already achieved. Achieving the goals on your Dream Board is a powerful visual reminder of what you have already drawn into your life.
As time passes and your dreams manifest themselves, look at the pictures that represent your achievements and be grateful for how well the law of attraction works.
3. Write down the date when you created your dream board
You will be amazed at how quickly the law of attraction starts working. Similar to a time capsule, this board documents your personal journey, your dreams and your successes for that particular year. It becomes a record of your personal growth that you will someday want to look back to.
4. Create a new Vision Board each year
As you continue to grow, your dreams will also expand and evolve. Keep your vision board somewhere safe and look at it from time to time. You not only record your dreams, but also the path to your success.
Gratitude journal technique
Do you think you’re grateful for all the good things in your life? If so, try naming at least 5 things you’ve been thankful for in the past week.
Did it take you longer than expected?
Don’t worry, not being able to remember all the good things in your life is your brain’s fault, not yours. In order to help your brain remember the next time someone asks you a similar question, you should start writing a gratitude journal.
Although consistency is key, you don’t need to write daily in your diary. If daily writing works for you, try it, but if you can only squeeze it in once a week, that’s fine too. As long as you write regularly, you will notice the benefits.
At first, it might be difficult to find time to write in your gratitude journal because it feels like another thing on your to-do list. The easiest way to keep a gratitude journal is trying to attach it to an existing habit, such as drinking your morning coffee or preparing a meal for the next day.
Inspiration for your gratitude journal
It can be difficult to fill the first pages of your journal. For this reason, we have put together a few questions and prompts from different areas that you could try to answer.
When was the last time a friend did something nice for you?
Name 3 ways to say “thank you” without actually saying it.
Write a letter of appreciation to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Name three situations in which someone made you smile this week. Who was it and what did he / she do?
Note down three silly things your kids have done this week.
Think about someone that inspired you to be the person you are to day and write him or her a letter. You don’t have to send it, just reflect on how important that person was for you.
When was the last time you helped somebody?
Name three people who helped you in the past.
When was the last time someone did something for you, without being asked?
Call someone you would like to have a closer relationship with and write about your experience.
Remember that colleague everyone hates? Leave him something nice on his desk and write about his reaction.
Write about an experience, where a stranger was nice to you. If you can’t remember any situations of this sort: Be nice to a stranger and write about it.
Is there a silly family tradition you’re grateful for?
Think about how much work was necessary to create the clothes you’re wearing right now.
If you had to give up everything you own, except for three things, what would be left?
Look around and try to remember all the things you bought this year.
Are you thankful for your home? Note down everything you like about your house / apartment.
Include the journal in your meditation
After you’ve written something in your diary, you can make it the subject of your next meditation. Visualize the person or the situation you’re grateful for. Try to relive the situation in detail or imagine the person sitting in front of you. Direct your gratitude towards your subject of meditation.
If it helps, you can imagine your gratitude as a warm light in your chest that becomes brighter as you focus on the subject at hand.
Evaluate your progress
From time to time you should reflect on how far you’ve come since starting your journal. How have your relationships with others improved? Do you feel happier? Has it become easier for you to write something in your journal? Take a look at your first pages and appreciate your path.
Learn more with our e-book
We have written an e-book about Meditation for Relaxation, which has a whole chapter on Meditation and Visualization. Get it now for free on our website!