Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

How Does Positive Visualization Affect People's Level of Happiness and Perception of Their Physical Body Image?

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

How Does Positive Visualization Affect People's Level of Happiness and Perception of Their Physical Body Image?

Article excerpt

Positive visualizations

"A picture is worth a thousand words.''

This phrase is certainly true in the case of visualization. Visualization, a form of self-hypnosis, is a tool anyone can use to help foster healing. By providing positive pictures (creative imagery) and self-suggestion, visualization can change emotions that subsequently have a physical effect on the body.

Our belief system is based upon the accumulation of verbal and non-verbal suggestions that have been gathered throughout our life experience. Through patterns of repetition and its associated rewards and punishment we learn to create our own perception of reality. In essence, we therefore become what we think. In healing, repetitive use of positive visualization allows access to the mind-body connection. This lets the mind and body work together to foster the healing process of the body on a physical level. The mind and body connection works in the following manner: When we have an emotion it generates a feeling that turns into a physical sensation.

For example: You are watching a horror movie, you feel frightened and then get a chill up your spine. In this case you were getting a negative suggestion through your sensory perception (sight & sound), that produced an emotion of fear which turned into the physical sensation of chills up your spine. Visualization uses positive images to produce positive emotions that manifest into positive physical sensations in the body.

Effect of thoughts on healing

Bodies react to the thoughts made. Psychological/emotional state affects the endocrine system. For example, the emotion of fear is related to adrenaline. If no feeling of fear exists there is no adrenaline and the same applies in reverse- no adrenaline, no fear. They work in relationship to each other. Wherever a thought goes there is a body chemical reaction.

The hypothalamus, the emotional center of the brain, transforms emotions into physical response. The receptor of neuro peptides, the hypothalamus also controls the body's appetite, blood sugar levels, body temperature, adrenal and pituitary glands, heart, lung, digestive and circulatory systems.

Neuropeptides, the chemical messenger hormones, carry emotions back and forth between the mind and body. They link perception in the brain to the body via organs, hormones and cellular activity. Neuropeptides influence every major section of the immune system, so the body and mind do work together as one unit.

The brain is a highly efficient system that is connected to every cell in the body by billions of connections. It is divided into two sides a the left, logical side (words, logic, rational thought) and b right creative side (imagination & intuition). Day-to-day circumstances usually are met in a logical, left brain mode; however by yielding to the right, creative side of the brain the balance of the brain is restored. This allows access to the mind-body connection to achieve what is required. The right side of the brain automatically steers the individual to his/her goal. It totally accepts what the person wants to accomplish without giving an opinion and acts upon it without judgment. That is why visualization targets the right, creative side of the brain and not the left, logical side.

Positive thought is essential to producing positive results. Negative thoughts and emotions lower the immune system, while positive thought and emotions actually boost the immune system.

Visualization techniques

The techniques of symbolic visualization fall on a continuum from controlled visualization of specific symbol to spontaneous visualization of an unstructured type, such as reverie.

Controlled symbolic visualization

In controlled visualization, the basic pictorial content is specified in advance, although some of the details may be spontaneous. A preparatory stage before visualization includes sitting in a comfortable chair, closing the eyes, and achieving as relaxed a state as possible. …

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