Visualizing your desired goals in life can really help you achieve them! If you’re working out to lose weight, imagine yourself as thin as you’re trying to become. If you’re bodybuilding, imagine the muscle size and tone you expect to achieve. Visualizing yourself as your best self is a great motivator, and here’s why.
A study was done on a weightlifter’s brain patterns and results showed similar results in the patterns when the weightlifter imagined himself lifting 100lbs and when he was physically doing just that. In fact, some studies have suggested that practicing mentally is just about as effective as a physical practice, and doing each type of practice benefits you the best. A study between weightlifters and lifting dreamers showed that the weightlifters would increase their muscles by 30% while the dreamers who imagined themselves working out built up 13.5% muscle strength and that lasted for 3 whole months!
Visualization is also known as “mental rehearsal” and became popular in the 70’s by the Soviets. Today, several professional athletes use the same technique. The pros use high-detail mental images while running through their complete routines, which engages their senses completely and mentally while combining the knowledge they have of their respective venue and how each routine should feel. Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Mohammed Ali have all used mental rehearsal.
Studies of the brain show that our thoughts can produce mental instructions that are the same as our physical actions. Visualization has an impact on several cognitive processes, such as attention, motor control, planning, perception and our memory. Your brain is training as you visualize everything. Not only does visualization help motivate you, but it can boost confidence, self-efficacy, motor performance and prepare your mind for success while boosting your flowing states.
Studies have shown results highlighting how connected our mind and body really are and it’s certainly a strong connection.
Set yourself a goal. Imagine how life would be when you’ve achieved your desired body. Keep picturing yourself the way you wish to be, as if you are already that way. Pull in every possible detail you can think of, right to the texture and patterns. Mentally engage each of your five senses as much as possible. Practice doing this daily before actually working out and rid yourself of all doubt. If a challenge occurs in mind, know that you can do it and do it well. Remind yourself how great and amazing you are and never give up on your dreams.