Imagery provides a way to communicate with your subconscious mind. When you "see" an image in your
mind it is a collaboration between your conscious and subconscious. The image you see will always be different from what others see because it is
formed from your own memories and experiences. Imagery is like a personalized, guided dream with emotions.
We are all capable of using imagery, but like other skills, it must be
practiced. Imagery is not just visualization – it involves other senses (taste, smell, hearing and touch) as well. To sharpen your
imagery skills, follow the directions for meditation. Then envision things that are familiar to you every day to see how they change.
"The soul never thinks without a picture." -- Aristotle
There are two main ways to use imagery:
1. Visualize the steps of the process necessary to achieve your goal.
Visualize the goal as having already been achieved.
Imagery is not just "daydreaming," and it is much
more important than most people realize. You can communicate with your entire body using imagery. With your conscious mind, you can send a sort of
message to your subconscious in the form of a visual image. Your subconscious responds with "imagery," and helps to shape what you see, much like a dream.
By using guided imagery, you can help to control and heal your body physically as well as psychologically. If you want to suggest to your
body that your hand is cold, create the image of blue, icy waters and ice cubes in your mind. To create hot, imagine when you were a child and you
touched a hot stove or iron. It is important to create these images from your own unique experiences.
Although not completely understood, scientists are discovering that the mind actually helps maintain balance by controlling the immune system. We
become susceptible to diseases when our normal balance becomes disturbed. Imagery helps create and maintain this balance while reducing stress.
Many scientists believe that by being able to visualize the problems within your body, your unconscious mind then triggers your body's natural
defenses into action.