The Science of the Mind: Creative Visualization

I love what I see!

Our society does not generally support the creative thinker, yet today, we’re all being required to tap into our creativity in an effort to navigate the many changes taking place. Creativity is such an important tool for our health and well-being. It really is our natural state.

Along the way I have had the opportunity to learn from and interview some of the best in this field, and it is my hope that you will support your children in remembering the truth of who they are through the simple process of creative visualization.

Creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life. You are already using visualization through the power of your imagination, you just may not be aware of it. Through the imagination we have the ability to create a mental picture of what we would like to bring into being.  Everything starts with a thought. The very emotion you are feeling right now and the last decision you made all began with a single thought.

The things that we tell ourselves have been proven so powerful in creating our perception and reality that Steve Sisgold, author of What’s Your Body Telling You?, has coined the term “viral belief” in relationship to our negative thoughts which can become parasitic viruses that sicken our body.  

Louise Hay was a pioneer of healing the body with the help of creative visualization which she used to assist her in her own healing of cervical cancer. Her book, You Can Heal Your Life with the message “You have the power to change your life,” has helped millions of people and brought her notoriety as the sixth best selling female author of all time. Louise’s message was based on the idea that by changing our thoughts we can change our reality. For years creative visualization has been used to enhance sports performance, help to cure cancer and aids, assist in relieving stress, and cope with anxiety.

Regardless of spiritual or religious beliefs, creative visualization provides a proven method that can permanently change the neural complexity of the brain. In their book, How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Neuroscientist, authors Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman studied participants and realized that, “Neuroscience and spirituality can enhance each other.”  Their research supports that by actively believing that what you are doing is going to help you, it will help you. On the other hand, they caution to be careful of your negative thoughts, because you can actually damage areas of the brain. By using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), it was found that while just reading negative words anxiety and depression were increased while reading positive words lowered them.      

Because our brains make no distinction between our inner and outer reality we can make changes both physiologically and psychologically. For example if you tell yourself “I’m getting sick,” the body will take aversive action. Therefore repeating positive thoughts and visualizing, truly does affect your health.  Author Shakti Gawain, in her book Creative Visualization originally written twenty-five years ago, shares successful stories of people using her methods; one of healing a brain tumor, others of healing cancer, and even her own mother who dissolved gall stones by using creative visualization techniques.  She suggests the use of visualization and affirmations as a helpful supplement that can be used in conjunction with the treatment of your choice to maintain and heal your body. Shakti encourages four basic steps that she has found effective; (1) set your goal, (2) establish a clear mental picture and feeling, (3) focus and meditate on it often, (4) affirm the intention using affirmations.

Some examples of healing affirmations are:

I am loving and healing myself on all levels – spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical.

I am good to my body and my body is good to me.

I deserve to be healthy and feel good.

Visualization techniques are not just for adults. Guided imagery is an effective way to help pediatric patients and families cope with the stress of surgery and hospitalization. It’s important to note that creative visualization is not meant to be a replacement for rational medial treatment, but a tool to assist on in the healing process.

Science is now providing evidence of the benefits of what spiritualists and positive thinkers have been practicing for years, confirming that by changing your thoughts you can change the neural pathways of your brain and overall health.  Dr. Bruce Lipton’s research with the human cell has found that it is not only our genes, as was formally believed that affects our health, but the perceptions of our beliefs.

Creative visualization can heighten immune functions, lower blood pressure, speed healing, alleviate depression, reduce perception of pain, lower fatigue, and increase relaxation. However, keep in mind it takes three to four weeks for the brain to establish a pattern of new behavior, but with some practice and patience you have the ability to change you life. Your mind can be great medicine for a healthy life!

To your health!

© 2012 Cathi Curen, Holistic Children Radio

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