Meditation and the benefits of visualization
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Meditation has become an increasingly popular tool for improving mental health and general wellbeing. The art of meditation has been practised for many years and offers a range of benefits. Through its modern popularity meditation has been studied and academic research has found a multitude of benefits for physical and mental health. One of the great things about meditation is that it can be done by anyone and anywhere!
So, what is meditation?
Meditation as a practice encompasses a range of techniques, such as mindfulness, visualization, concentration and breathing techniques to encourage a state of present awareness, inner peace, and consciousness. There is a common misconception and stereotype about meditation that it is simply sitting down, closing your eyes, and trying not to think about anything. However, this is not the case. Meditation encourages you to let your mind and body notice how it is feeling, what it is feeling and thinking, and be mindful and accepting of these experiences. Another element of meditation is visualization. Visualization encourages you to picture positive images, affirmations, ideas, and environments to improve relaxation and calmness. A common practice of visualization is to picture a positive place that gives you the most happiness. Visualization is an essential aspect of meditation that allows for an open and positive experience with meditation and mindfulness to occur.
How can you practice meditation?
There are multiple different ways to approach the practice of meditation, but here is a simple guide to get you into the habit of meditation.
1. Sit down in a quiet, calm, and comfortable place where there are minimal distractions.
2. Set an alarm for a time limit, you can meditate for as long or as quickly as you want and feels right,
3. Be mindful of your body and how you physically feel. You can sit or lay down in any way that feels comfortable for you. Pay attention to the physical sensation of your body in that position.
4. Implement breathing techniques. This can be done in a range of ways, but for starters, try taking long deep breaths in and out. Notice how your body is inhaling and exhaling
5. Once you have completed the physical steps, this is where you may choose to implement mental mindfulness, visualization or even follow a guided meditation. This can include being mindful of the thoughts or ideas that are present, allowing yourself to notice them, and bringing your attention back to your breathing. In this step, mental mindfulness lets you be aware and conscious of your thoughts, whilst also implementing attention and focus to be present. Visualizing in this step can include thinking of positive goals, mantras, manifestations, and ideas, whilst visualizing your favorite place.
6. Be kind and compassionate to yourself throughout the meditation and finish with noticing and acknowledging your emotions.
What are the benefits of meditation and visualization?
Meditation offers a range of physical and mental benefits through the practice of living in the present moment and reducing negative thoughts about the past or future, practising compassion and kindness towards your thoughts and feelings that may naturally arise, and creating a calm and positive environment through visualization and breathing. Meditation also provides you with physical and mental tools that can help reduce negative emotions or feelings of depression and anxiety-related thoughts by grounding you into the present moment and allowing you to enter a positive environment through visualization. Some other benefits of meditation include:
Improved focus and concentration
Decreased levels of stress
Increased gratitude and self-awareness
Improvements in self-esteem
Improvement in depression and anxiety-related symptoms and general well-being and relief of stress
Greater health through improved immunity and reduction of physical stress-related illness
Meditation is a great tool for improving your mental well-being and tackling negative experiences that may arise from depression and anxiety. Meditation can be done in a daily routine for increased long-term benefits and can also be used as a tool in random moments when feelings of stress and anxiety become overwhelming. If anxiety-related symptoms are something you feel you may suffer with, whether that be through social anxiety or phobia-related anxiety, take a look at our free phobia and social anxiety tests to see where you stand and give meditation a chance!