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Thread: Can you vividly imagine things on demand, any tips? page

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Can you vividly imagine things on demand, any tips?

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    I am trying a self-hypnosis technique, with no luck. The problem is that I cannot for the life of me vividly imagine things. My mind is just not cooperating. I guess it will take a few tries?

    Can you vividly imagine things on demand, any tips?
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    i can, but it's not something i learned; i've just always done it. i have trouble with visualization when it comes to guided meditation though (mostly because it's always opening doors or imagining the beach and i'd rather be on a mountain). i'm not sure if that's the same thing you're after. regardless, it seems like it's a skill and, if so, can be trained.

    i would start with clearing your mind and just trying to imagine simple shapes...squares, triangles, etc.
    it's probably better if someone else can tell you what to imagine. after the simple shapes, move on to more complex shapes or combinations of those simple shapes (imagine a triangle inside of a circle inside of a square). having a friend or partner describe some of these for you to draw would also be great (and makes a good team builder), and make them progressively harder until you are able to visualize and recreate entire scenes.

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    Yes, I have a vivid imagination. Like primalrob, I've always been able to imagine things.

    Maybe practice with things that have already happened. Imagine the happiest day in your life. Imagine the saddest. Imagine a great meal. Maybe if you practice with things that already have happened, you can then imagine things you want to happen.

    Good luck!

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Thank you. I have not problem with imagination/day-dreaming, but it's spontaneous. I also have a very hurtful memory I have no problem conjuring, but a bit more stomped for the feeling of absolute happiness.

    I like the idea of starting with simple shapes. When I try to meditate, I generally try to empty my mind, but now I will instead try to go for objects.

    Will appreciate any other insights and maybe book recommendations?
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    Sandra in BC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    Thank you. I have not problem with imagination/day-dreaming, but it's spontaneous. I also have a very hurtful memory I have no problem conjuring, but a bit more stomped for the feeling of absolute happiness.

    I like the idea of starting with simple shapes. When I try to meditate, I generally try to empty my mind, but now I will instead try to go for objects.
    The shape visualization gives me anxiety for some reason. The opposite of what I want to achieve.

    Emptying my mind never works either. We all know what happens when you create a vacuum. Instead, I work to fill my mind purposefully.

    I have found it helpful to focus on a specific body part, or my breathing, or my pulse. Imagining, or experiencing, the movement (or lack thereof) of one of these things takes intense concentration. And even if your mind wanders, you have a specific place to come back to. Don't look at distraction as failure, practice bringing focus back and starting over.

    As a sleep aid, I have a visualization that works for me every time. Yes, its a beach - a tropical beachfront resort actually - but it could just as easily be a mountain or a lake Its a place I have constructed and has become more detailed over, time that I can virtually walk my way through, and if my mind wanders I can bring it back to any point in that walk. Some nights its a long walk. Other nights I just have to think "Standing at the top of the stairs...." and I'm out like a light.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra in BC View Post
    I have found it helpful to focus on a specific body part, or my breathing, or my pulse. Imagining, or experiencing, the movement (or lack thereof) of one of these things takes intense concentration. And even if your mind wanders, you have a specific place to come back to. Don't look at distraction as failure, practice bringing focus back and starting over.
    this is a fantastic process. i've been doing it for years. for me, this and walking meditation are the things that keep me in tune equally as much as food and exercise.

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    I think I'm more "auditory" in my brain than visual (I usually think like I'm talking, it's much more rare that I think through things by picturing them.)

    One way to push yourself to visualize - ask a question that requires you to make a picture to answer it. (Once you get the glimpse of a picture, you can work on making it more clear.)

    My favorite is (without answering): What's on top of your refrigerator right now?
    I can't answer that without mentally visualizing my refrigerator and looking at it in my mind.

    Similar things might be:
    - what's under your bed? what's on the top shelf of your closet? what's in your medicine closet?
    - what did you (or your boss, best friend, arch-enemy, whoever) wear yesterday?
    - Which is bigger: an apple or a pear? a prescription bottle or two gumballs? your computer router or an old textbook?
    - If you've been someplace recently, you could do a question about that, like: What color were the seats in the theater?

    Maybe others know more questions, being not-so-visual, that's about all I can generate off the top of my head!

    Good luck!

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    Leida's Avatar
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    This is great.

    I actually had tried the shapes and then making myself see them in a particular color. By whatever reason purple triangles are really hard.

    I also tried a few times to see what I am supposed to see to successfully apply the self-hypnotic technique, but so far, I just get distracted by the verbal description I form in my brain too much to summon the good visual & an emotional response. I am wondering if it would help to try to draw it or something.

    I will try questions and answers, that sounds like a great exercise.

    With sleep, I recently found that instead of being irritated by my husband's snoring, I can calm myself by matching my breathing to his rhythm. Well, earplugs too, lol.

    It's amazing how we can make our bodies to do specific things, but leave our brain and thoughts to fend for themselves. Hm.
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    If you are seriously trying to use self-hypnosis, I recommend working with a trained hypnotherapist. I used hypnosis to conquer my extreme phobia of needles while I was in college with the help of a hypnotherapist. It took several sessions for me to be able to properly use the breathing and visualization techniques that he taught me, and once I mastered that part, it took several more sessions to actually use it in a structured way to make changes.

    My hypnotherapist was actually a clinician I befriended at the mental health clinic where I worked, so he helped me with this for free, which was the only reason I agreed to it, but seeing how effective it can be, I would gladly pay someone to teach me hypnosis if I had to do it over again.

    Once I was practiced enough, I was then able to use self-hypnosis whenever I wanted, but I would have never been able to do it successfully without the guidance of someone experienced. If it's something you're serious about (like eliminating a phobia, decreasing addiction cravings, etc... I personally think it's a bad idea to half-ass something on your own, because it likely won't work, and then it's easy to write off hypnosis as not working, when it's really that the person isn't doing it properly.

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