VISUALIZATION EXERCISE FOR EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS
What is Visualization?
Visualization is an imaginative technique that involves picturing in your mind how you will act doing a certain activity and the final outcome of that activity. The practice incorporates techniques that elite athletes have used for many years to visualize the outcome of their event. It is based on research that shows that thinking about an activity activates the same part of the brain that is active when we are actually doing the action. Visualization has the power to create new neural pathways in the brain which are vital in the creation of new habits. This technique can also help us create different responses to events or experiences that trigger us.
What are the benefits of visualization?
Visualization has been shown to help with increased focus, decreased levels of stress and anxiety, and finally increased confidence. It also can help up develop new habits in the way we respond to emotional triggers in our life.
During this exercise immerse yourself in as much detail as possible about the situation you are visualizing.
• Make yourself comfortable and relax. Take a minute to focus on your breathing.
• Start to focus on the present trigger that you would like to change. Close your eyes, if it is comfortable, and visualize the trigger and your present response when it happens.
• Now visualize the same trigger but this time replace the old automatic response with the new behavior that you would like to see yourself doing. Try and bring as much detail to this as possible. Involve as many of your senses as you can;
o What are you seeing as you respond with this new behavior?
o What are you hearing? What do you smell?
o What are you feeling after responding differently (Happiness, joy, pride, confidence empowered)?
o Spend some time with these emotions?
• Repeat this often and certainly before any situation which potentially gives rise to the trigger.