Meditation versus Visualization

Man thinking image


Meditation is a state of deep awareness. You are working to focus your mind and become aware of the present moment. You can also use meditation to focus on positive thoughts, feelings, or sensations.

Meditation can be done in a variety of ways. You can focus only on breathing, you can focus on positive affirmations, and you can focus on a mantra or a sound. And, in some cases, you can focus on image either in your mind or that is literally in front of you.


When your meditative focus is an image, you are using visualization. Visualization is a type of meditation that allows you to focus on an image in your mind or an image you can see. For example, you may have a physical photo of a tropical island that helps you to visualize what it would be to experience being there.

Or you may have a big event coming up and you can visualize in your mind’s eye what it looks like to be at the event and to succeed. With visualization you’re picturing an image in your mind and you may also be honing in on the physical sensations and emotions that go along with that experience.


Purposes of Visualization

There are many applications of visualization. For stress, visualization can help to transport you to a safe place and eliminate or at least reduce the thoughts and feelings that go along with stressful situations.

Many people use visualization to improve their health. For example, a person who has cancer might visualize their body attacking their cancer cells. A child might even imagine that the enemy in their video game is actually their disease. There is some evidence that this type of visualization can actually promote healing.

In a religious setting, visualization might help one to focus on worship and spiritual growth. Focusing on images related to spiritual beliefs can turn thoughts and feelings toward peace and love.

Perhaps the most well-known use of visualization is in the athletic world. Athletes are frequently taught to visualize themselves in an event and seeing their body perform at its peak. They may even visualize a specific opponent and see themselves defeating that opponent.


Tips for Adding Visualization

There are several things you can do to add visualization to your own life. Creating a vision board with pictures of things you want to achieve or dream about having in your life can help you to visualize and work toward that vision.

Focusing only on the positive is another tip for visualization. If you visualize negative things you’re more likely to draw negative energy into your space. Instead, only focus on the positive and what you want – not on the things you want to eliminate.

Finally, set aside time each day to meditate on your vision. Even just a few minutes each day can help you get closer to having the good things you visualize.

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