Why Visualisation Could be the Secret to Unlocking Your Dream 2024
By Hannah Bullimore
I have previously spoken about manifestation here on the column and today I’m taking a deep dive into one of the most accessible ways to manifest – visualisation.
What is visualisation?
Imagine you have curated the perfect Instagram feed. It represents everything you hope to get out of life. From hot girl walks, to cute local coffee spots, well trained but hilarious dogs, elegant but not try hard outfits, simple health tips. Visualisation is just like this. You curate the image of your perfect life, you imagine living it in as much detail as possible and this helps you to reach your goals.
Sounds simple, but how do we actually make visualisation work for us?
THREE WAYS TO START YOUR VISUALISATION PRACTICE TODAY
Using your phone
As the Instagram vision above suggests, technology can really help us to narrow in on a lifestyle we wish to manifest. Cultivating your Instagram feed will not only help you to see a range of ways to make life better, it will also help you to remove anything that negatively impacts you. To do this, unfollow any people or brands which don’t make you feel positive. If you find yourself rolling your eyes at constantly negative posts or not relating to images of the party lifestyle that wouldn’t make you feel good, then simply unfollow.
And begin to find more positive images. From capsule wardrobe ideas to yoga flows that you can fit into your work day. There is a plethora of positivity online – you just have to be mindful enough to find it.
Other ways to use technology to support a visualisation practice is Pinterest. I have a dream board where I add images that relate to my future goals – from dream holiday destinations, to home decor and recipes. This positive board helps me to visualise the life I want to lead now and in the near future. It’s a place I can go for some easy, positive imagery.
There are so many kinds of meditation it can be hard to keep track. While it might not be easy at first to visualise your dream future, meditation can help you to quieten your mind and remove some of that daily clutter of to do lists and upcoming meetings. With a quieter mind you’ll be able to more easily see what it is you’d like from life in the near future.
I was first introduced to visualisation meditation many years ago. A yoga teacher had us lie in resting pose and imagine going through a day in our dream life ten years from now. She introduced the idea before starting the meditation and my brain began to fizz with endless possibilities – living abroad? Holidays? Career? Kids? What would be my dream life? I felt overwhelmed.
But then, she began the meditation. We focused on our breathing first of all. This is always the simplest way to calm the mind; simply noticing the inhale and the exhale. If you struggle to focus, count the length of each inhale and exhale.
Then she had us visualise ourselves in the room we were in. The four walls, lying on the mat, our own bodies. Beginning to visualise something that really exists is a great way to practice this technique without feeling overwhelmed.
Next, she had us imagine we had fallen asleep. She left us there for a few moments. Then, we were to imagine waking up to our dream lives ten years from now. What would the bed be like? Would we have someone with us or be alone? How would we spend our day? Each question helped me to more clearly see what my dream life was like – relaxed, full of love and somewhere sunny!
Even if you only use this practice to help you relax, it is well worth a try. I often use it at night if I’m struggling to sleep. And if ten years is too far away to consider, then imagine a year from now instead.
Make a moodboard
If you know anything about visualisation, you were probably expecting this one.
Moodboards are the visualiser’s favourite tool. Plus, if you’re a fan of getting creative you’ll love this one. If you’re more of a words person you could do a written moodboard so don’t be put off.
First, grab a piece of card and divide it into four sections: Home, Work, Finances, Dreams.
Now, you can find images online, in magazines or wherever you like! Write a date in the middle for when you would like this to come to fruition. And dream big! Imagine life with your soul mate, add a dream job and write down that ambitious salary. Where will you travel to? Who with? What food will you eat? What music will you listen to?
The more you add to the board the more you’ll be able to visualise the life you’d like to live and the more easily you’ll be able to take those steps to get there.
But does it really work?
You might be thinking – imagining my dreams is one thing, but that doesn’t help them come true.
However, there are plenty of highly educated and successful individuals who believe in the power of manifestation and visualisation.
Fearne Cotton is one celebrity who talks about her belief in the power of manifestation. I would highly recommend her book Bigger Than Us for more on all things spiritual including manifestation.
Neuroscientist Dr Tara Stewart noticed the connection between her patients thoughts and their outcomes and this led to research into the way that people can effect their own minds. As a result she wrote The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life where she discusses the power we all have to reach a greater potential.
Whichever way you choose to practice visualisation, the hope is that the more detail we add to our goals, the more we will be able to really plan them and live them out.
So, whether it’s an Instagram spring clean, a pretty moodboard or taking time to meditate each day, why not give visualisation a try?