According to the Eating Disorder Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Denver, our body image exists in the mind’s eye and emerges from our collective memories and experiences. This powerful combination creates positive and/or negative feelings about how we perceive our height, weight and shape.
Marie Dalloway, PhD, talks about ‘visualization techniques’ as a language that builds success. Visualization techniques are often used by elite athletes to enhance performance. Although, positive internal dialogue is an important tool in creating changes in behavior and beliefs, visualization involves use of mental images, not just our thoughts. Dalloway says, “Images or pictures are the primary content of visualizations because words cannot be generated at a fast enough rate to describe events as they occur.” There’s a physical reaction within our bodies that occurs when we think this way — a link between belief and behavior.
Einstein said, “What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” Visualization somehow seems to activate a unique power within our brains that tells us what we see is real, even if it hasn’t materialized itself just yet. There’s a significant difference between talking to ourselves about wanting to be healthy, fit and more active and creating a realistic and detailed movie inside our head creating that scenario. Think of it, you’re the producer of your own theatrical production where you’re the writer, director and star!
We all look for inspiration, motivation and support when trying to make important changes in our lives. So, why not stop thinking about being happier and start visualizing it? For even more interesting insights around how this practice may help you meet your healthy lifestyle goals visit the e-zine article written by Dr. Annette Colby, RD, on Creative Visualization.