Why Visualisation might actually work

Recently, I’ve found myself re-reading books written by Paul McKenna – the Hypnotist Life-Coach who basically introduced me to self-help. Through self-hypnosis, NLP  and bog standard common sense, Paul has been helping me to change my shitty thinking, shitty diet and shitty behaviour for the last twenty or so years.

Last year, I mentioned his ‘Success Timeline’ technique, in which you visualise events in which you were confident/happy/powerful and then see events that you’d like to happen in the same way. I used to run through this a lot. So much so, that though I haven’t practiced it for years now, if I hear Fat Boy Slim’s, ‘Right Here, Right Now,’ then it all starts flooding back – the best presentation I ever did, jumping into the pool in Corfu, riding the Zip Wire with my class on our adventure residential…

I’m never quite convinced as to the effects of visualisation. I’ve never really let myself be a believer. And when I think about it, this is RIDICULOUS, because I’m always doing it!

When I go out to dinner, I visualise eating everything on the menu. When I have a good Jiu Jitsu session, I have to stop myself fight-driving. When I see a particularly nice looking bloke, I visualise *explicit content.* In fact, I must be bloody great at visualisation – otherwise, I wouldn’t end up feeling hungry, happy or horny… would I?!

The problem is that I have a habit of visualising my past mistakes in all their horror or imagining future mistakes, confrontations and tragedies. And because my imagination is shit hot, I’m quickly consumed by feelings of shame, anxiety, depression and hopelessness.

So with Paul McKenna by my side once more, I’m going to attempt to reintegrate visualisation into my daily routine. I’ll also strive to be more mindful of the movies that I’m watching, so that I can be quicker to disrupt the image.

When I think about it, I’m actually pretty lucky to have an overactive imagination like this. It’d be a shame to waste it on crap movies.

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