Friday, 23 May 2008

What you need to know about mental imagery and relaxation

How do mental imagery and relaxation exercises work, well mental imagery is what you see in your mind it is the creative aspect of your mind.
The mind uses mental imagery or visualization thousands of times a day but mental imagery and relaxation are hardly ever used together unless a person trains themselves to do so. The brain or mind is a free super computer given at birth and depending how it’s programmed will depend on how successful you will be. An example of how your mind uses mental imagery is:
Someone knocks your front door very hard, most people think "oh no it’s that guy i had trouble with, he found out where i live" and from there even before the door is opened you have played out scenarios of what could happen in a negative sense and believe it will happen. A popular example is, you see an attractive member of the opposite sex, they are sitting across from you, and you think I should go over there and talk. Your mind runs through how they will reject you and how bad this will look and so on, maybe it will turn out good but you haven’t done anything yet.
These actions are common, adults use the creative aspect of their mind or mental imagery for worrying and become very good at it, this is a counter productive use of your creative side because it was meant for helping you survive and succeed. However the use of mental imagery or visualization in a negative sense can be attributed from a lack of good parenting to you when you where a child, a lack of socialization, traumatic childhood experiences and so on.
This can be changed, mental imagery can be used as a relaxing technique and be a good use of your imagination.
The way to do this is remember times when you had a joyful experience, a time of confidence and live it as it were real in your mind.
Below you will find a simple but powerful mental imagery and relaxation exercise, if followed consistently over time; you will find your mindset to be changed.
Firstly find a room which is quite, find a comfortable spot where you can remain undisturbed for 20-30 minuets
Do breathing exercises as follows, take a deep breath for four seconds, as you are taking it in make sure you feel it going all the way to the bottom of your abdomen. Now hold it for four seconds, and lastly over four seconds let all the air out of you until your lungs are empty, while doing this concentrate on the air coming in and out of your body and the path it takes, and nothing else.
Now we will focus on mental imagery and relaxation in the terms of a certain exercise:
Straight after the breathing exercise close your eyes make sure you are comfortable and follow these steps:
Imagine doing a task you do on a constant basis, you are watching yourself do it as a spectator observing yourself.
Watch yourself work on the task as you would normally.
Now you decide to focus on this task and do a good job of it deliberately. Watch yourself make the decision to concentrate on the task and all distractions you had are gone, even though certain distractions are there but they don’t affect you as much, they can’t break your concentration.
Now you are so absorbed in your task that distractions are out of your attention span and become obsolete. At this point anything that could distract you is not noticed, heard or seen by you any more. You have a kind of protective force field around you like a bubble and your powers of concentration have increased by tenfold at this moment.
Now you are doing this exercise in a deeper state, nothing in the universe matters or could break your attention, you no longer have thoughts, feelings or emotions, you are in the zone and the task is second nature to you. Nothing comes to your mind except the task, you are like a missile you are locked on, there are no questions, distractions or inner conflicts your mind could through at you, you are in control, your mind is aware of your power and ability and it is silenced, it lets you commence in your task, nothing can get in your way now.
At this point you get deeper into the task to the point you do not exist anymore, the difference between you and the task can not be measured, you have become the task, only you can complete the task because you are the task, you perceive the world from the viewpoint of the task.
Now you decide to let go deliberately of the task, and you see yourself let go. You make a conscience decisions that in 10 seconds you will wake up and whatever you put your mind to it won’t just be achievable but no one can do it better than you and you believe this.
Now count 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, now open your eyes.

That was mental imagery and relaxation; it can help you become confident in any situation and make you calm and relaxed as well. You can try this for just relaxation; use other images like relaxing on the beach, hearing the sea, feeling the sand and looking at the yachts going by. Athletes and Special Forces use these methods and if it helps them it will definitely help you.

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