What is Visualisation and Does it Really Work?

December 8, 2021

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When it comes to creating real long-term consistent changes to ingrained habits, visualisation is a really powerful and often overlooked tool that could totally transform your ability to achieve your health goals.

There’s a reason I chose to dedicate an entire module in my new programme to visualisation and it’s because I truly think it can help you not only make changes to your everyday habits and choices but it can literally shift the trajectory of your entire life – big statement, I know. 

Visualisation is defined by the dictionary as “the formation of a mental image of something” and that’s a fine literal definition of the word, but when we’re able to harness this skill and turn it into a practice – that’s where the magic happens. 

Visualisation allows our brains the ability to not only conjure up an image, but it also gives us the ability to evoke powerful feelings that can have a big impact on our habits, our patterns of behaviour and the choices that dictate our lives.


So, how does it work?

One of the reasons why visualisation is so powerful is that it introduces a new perspective, let me explain…

When looking to make changes in our lives, we often focus on what we don’t want, rather than what we do. We tend to want the absence of our current frustrations, not the presence of new things, and the problem with that is it’s hard to get somewhere when you don’t know where you’re going. 

Simply put, it’s not enough to know that you don’t want to be ‘here’, you need to know where you want to go and that’s what visualisation helps you do. I want you to think for a moment…

  • What would it be like to reach your goal?
  • What would your life look like?
  • How would you feel?
  • Who would you be?
  • What would you do differently?
  • What new opportunities would be available to you?

Developing a clear, compelling idea of where you want to go is the first, and most important step in creating lasting change in your life through visualisation.


But how can imagining things evoke real change in your life?

Well, your brain is good at a lot of things, but one of its weak spots is being able to identify what is imaginary and what is real life. You might have felt this when watching a scary film where your rational mind knows it’s not real life yet you still feel your heart beating with suspense, your palms sweating, and your stress responses engaged because part of your brain is reacting to the narrative like it is real. 

We also see a similar thing happening with the placebo effect to an even more mind-blowing extent where patients with placebo treatment not only felt lesser symptoms but there have been multiple instances where physical improvements to existing conditions have been observed. Which is truly incredible! 


But back to us…

How can you use this little quirk in your brain to affect real change in your life? 

Well, when you’re able to create a clear and compelling vision of the life you want to lead, what it looks like, how it would make you feel, it makes creating changes that help you get to that point far easier.

For example, when you create a compelling vision of a life where you feel strong, healthy, you’re eating nourishing foods, feeling energised and confident, the habits or temptations of things that don’t contribute to that lifestyle become far less appealing. 

Our brains are wired for rewards which is why it’s easy for us to resist change when the rewards like ‘eat chocolate’ or ‘chill on the sofa’ are greater than ‘eat salad’ or ‘go to the gym’. However, when we have a  visualisation practice we shift the perspective and the life we want, the life we can imagine for ourselves, that becomes the greatest reward and anything that doesn’t help us get there is seen as a threat to our vision becoming a reality. 


Our brains are wired for rewards…when we have a  visualisation practice the life we can imagine for ourselves becomes the greatest reward


When we have a daily visualisation practice, we’re rewiring our brains so the pleasure level from those previously ‘high reward’ behaviours has been compromised because they now pose a threat to that much more exciting reward. And the closer we’re able to align ourselves with the person we want to become, the easier and easier those choices are. Instead of a daily struggle to resist temptation, we feel magnetised to make choices that support our journey to reaching our visualised goals. 

I can’t express how truly powerful visualisation can be for helping you live the life you really want so if you’re curious about how to create a clear vision of your future, feel free to reach out and book in for a free consultation

I’d love to help you create real change and get where you want to go! 

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I'm Irina, your new health coach.

Like you, my life moves at 100mph and for years I let my health take the backseat, until I made healthy work for me and my lifestyle. Now, I want to help you do the same!

My 1:1 coaching is all about empowering, inspiring and supporting women to make life-long changes that don’t revolve around restrictive diets - let’s make healthy work for you.

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