Thursday, April 12, 2012

Visualization Exercise

Visualization Exercise

David Bonham-Carter
Life Coach & Self Help Author

Here is a visualization exercise you can use to help you prepare for a situation that you are anxious about. If possible do this exercise daily for a short period (a few minutes) in the build-up to the event or situation as part of your preparation.

1. Select a forthcoming situation that you are anxous about and an outcome that you would like to achieve in that situation, e.g. being focused in a job interview or speaking well when giving a presentation, or meeting a group of people.

2. Find a comfortable place or chair or lie on the bed.

3. Close your eyes.

4. Relax with your arms by your side. Let your shoulders drop and let the muscles in your face relax. Feel the top of your head relax then all the way down your body bit by bit.

5. Try to empty your mind of thoughts. If a thought comes into your mind, there's no need to panic, just try to let it go and smile/relax.

6. Then start to imagine yourself in the particular situation your are anxious about, acting in the way that you would like and achieving the positie result that you would like.

7. When you first do this, begin by imagining yourself acting in the way you would like to act, with people reacting in positie ways and outcomes coming out as you want. Initially if possible imagine a modified version of the challenging situation, e.g. if you want to mix socially in groups of people, first imagine yourself mixing confidently with one or two people then gradually build up the scene after a few days of doing that successfully so that in later visualizations more people are involved. Or if imagining a job interview, perhaps first of all imagine yourself doing easier questions, then subsequently gradually build up to imagining yourself confidently dealing with harder questions too.

8. Imagine what is happening as vividly as possible - the sounds, language, appearance, smells, look and colours of things and people around you. Focus on details to make the situation as real as possible.

9. After one or two minutes, refocus on your bodily state, being aware of how the different parts of yoru body feel, then open your eyes and come back into the world around you.

10. If you want, you can build up the time you spend on this exercise, but at first just do it for a few minutes. It's more important that the quality of your visualization is vivid than that you do it for a long time.

Tip: Item 4 above regarding becoming conscious of different parts of your body and relaxing them can it itself also be a useful thing to try in a particular situation if you are getting anxious.

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