You learned last week that your mind can be a powerful tool in achieving your goals. It is the first place you should go whenever you want to create a change in your circumstance. If you want to be successful, you must believe in yourself and see yourself as a capable and confident individual.

This week, you will be learning about visualization—a technique that, when practiced regularly, enhances your success.

Visualization is a tool that accesses all five senses. When you visualize yourself in a certain situation you imagine what you see, feel, hear, smell, and taste, as if you were in the actual experience. Visualization is commonly used in a variety of situations.

To Manage Stress: When clients have stress I ask them to think of a peaceful place. For many, the ocean is a place that brings them much serenity. As they are thinking of this serene place I ask them to note the color of the water as it moves into the shore and to feel the sand beneath their toes, to hear the sounds of waves as they crash against the rocks, to taste the salt in the air, and to notice the marine smells around them as they walk the beach. Their visualization includes accessing all five senses to truly experience being at the ocean.

Visualizing a peaceful place lowers blood pressure, slows heart rate, and increases oxygen levels. This offsets the side effects of stress.

Healing or Recovery: Visualization has been used for centuries in creating a mind-body experience to promote healing. People who have cancer are asked to visualize a picture of their immune system in which white blood cells destroy the cancerous cells. Sometimes they are asked to imagine the cancer getting smaller and smaller until it disappears. Physicians know that when visualization is practiced that the patient feels a sense of control that often aids in their healing. When the patient is an active part of their treatment there is greater possibility for remission.

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