Visualization is coming to the fore as a way for people to change their behavior, thoughts, and feelings for the better. Visualization involves seeing yourself in positive situations and being the person you want to be. It is said that the subconscious mind cannot distinguish between a real event that it observed and an imagined one. The key is to treat the imagined scenario as something you are observing.
Interestingly, children seem to have this kind of realistic visualization well in place – many times, children cannot distinguish between what they imagine and what is real. Their play seems real to them when they are engaged in it. Visualization is tapping into this child-like ability to make your imagination come alive and play out in real life. The theory is that positive thoughts give positive results.
Visualization could be described as daydreaming with a purpose.
How Is Visualization Done?
You can do visualization yourself. You can also do it while being guided by a therapist. Some people use tapes or audio resources to help them guide their visualization efforts.
When you use visualization, you infuse clarity and life into your daydreams. You focus your goals and desires into a very narrow target, and when you visualize you imagine great detail. When you visualize, you include smells, sounds, tastes, and touch in your thoughts. Your visualizations are lucid, vivid, and specific.
So what does this have to do with quitting smoking?
The simple answer is, you can use visualization to help you quit smoking by imagining yourself as a non-smoking individual. Here are some ideas on using visualization to help you toward your goal to quit smoking.
- Make it a daily thing. Set aside a few minutes of quiet focus that is just you and your thoughts.
- Be specific in your visualization. Imagine tasting delicious food and smelling lovely smells (taste and smell are often dulled by smoking).
- Picture yourself during those times when you like to smoke – after a meal, for example. Imagine yourself enjoying a very relaxing, very flavorful cup of tea, or just being free from smoking. You could visualize your digestive system being free and healthy to do its job without the poison of nicotine.
- Remember your specific goals. Picture yourself having reached that goal, whether it’s to stop smoking by this time next year or by your next birthday. Again, be specific with sights, sounds, tastes, and other sensations that make it seem real. Maybe one of your goals is to have more spending money. Imagine yourself holding the actual amount you will save in your hand, and picture yourself putting it into the bank or spending it on something you want or need.