Mindset-shifting time! Try these visual meditation techniques:
- The Peaceful Place Technique
- The Positive Energy Sphere Technique
- The Desired Outcome Scenario Technique
As yogis navigating the real world, it’s important for us to find methods to center ourselves and invite positive energy. Enter visualization meditation techniques.
It has increasingly become a go-to for seeking higher levels of success across any area of life. But what exactly is visualization meditation? And how can you use it to transform your mindset? We’ll get into it here.
What is Visualization Meditation?
Visualization meditation, as the name implies, uses the power of visual imagery to achieve goals. You imagine a specific scenario, environment, or outcome (typically one that invokes happiness or other positive emotions). By conjuring these images in your mind, you incite genuine feelings, sensations, and attitudes associated with them, and build a more positive mental state.
From that point, you can better plan and make decisions that will eventually get you to the goal. It’s along the lines of, „If you can dream it, you can do it,“ but much more concrete and practical.
Think about the times when daydreaming about being on a tropical beach made you feel relaxed, or when imagining some huge personal success gave you a rush of excitement. Visualization meditation simply harnesses this innate power of your mind and directs it purposefully.
Visualization meditation has become super popular in the last decade, but it’s hardly new.
Ancient Visualization Practices
Religions have long recognized visualization in prayer or meditation practices.
In the Vedic religion and its successor, Hinduism, mantras are often associated with specific deities or cosmic principles. When chanting these mantras, practitioners are encouraged to visualize the deity or concept the mantra represents. For example, the Gayatri Mantra, dedicated to the female sun deity Gayatri, focuses our attention on imagining the brilliance of the light to inspire us.
Here’s one of my favorite versions of this mantra chant:
Source: Meditative India
Similarly, mandalas are used in Hindu traditions as spiritual symbols and also as effective visual tools for meditation. In Hinduism, mandalas can be found in various forms, such as the Sri Yantra.
This complex mantra (pictured further down in this post) is a visualization feast. The multitude of layers and symbols: triangles, squares, petals, T-shaped gates, and much more, invite you to contemplate cosmic principles, like the creation of the universe and the joining of masculine and feminine energy. You could spend years just working on this mantra and all that it represents!
Visualization in Yoga
Even today, visualization has an important place in yoga practice, not just in yoga meditation. Think about how often your yoga teacher encourages you to improve your technique in the poses by saying things like: “Imagine there’s a thread pulling you upwards from the crown of your head” when you’re in dandasana (staff pose) or “Think about sending your tailbone to the sky“ when you’re in down dog.
That’s visualization in action!
Sri Yantra Mandala
Visualization Meditation Techniques: 3 Options to Start
Getting started with visualization meditation is easy, and you can change it up depending on your personal preferences. Here are 3 techniques to get you started:
#1 The Peaceful Place Technique
Begin by finding a quiet spot to sit where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Now, imagine a serene location, like a lush forest, a tranquil beach, or a serene mountaintop. Visualize the details – the gentle waves lapping, the rustling leaves, a cool breeze on your face, the feeling of your feet in the sand. The more details the better!
As you immerse yourself in this setting, let the positive feelings wash over you, whatever they are. Sometimes when doing this meditation I feel peaceful, other times very energized. See how it works for you.
There’s a guided version of a peaceful place meditation that I love from the gifted hypnotherapist Chel Hamilton. It’s called “Waterfall Pool of a New You.” Check it out here (lasts about 8 minutes).
#2 The Positive Energy Sphere Technique
Envision a ball of radiant energy hovering above you. This sphere is filled with positive vibes, love, and joy. Slowly, imagine this sphere descending and enveloping you, filling every inch of your body with warmth and positivity. Let it dispel any negativity, leaving only a buoyant, light feeling in its wake.
For an example of a guided sphere (or “orb”) meditation, try this one by Stephanie Ablett.
#3 The Desired Outcome Scenario Technique
This is my favorite! Think of a specific goal or desire you have in mind. It can be something small, like doing well in a job interview. Or something big, like buying a house. This works well when you are nervous or lack confidence about being able to achieve an outcome.
Go through the scenario carefully and thoroughly, trying to use all of your senses. If you’re visualizing yourself giving a presentation, for example, picture yourself entering the room, going on the stage in front of the group. Feel your energy and confidence as you talk. See the audience nodding and looking engaged. Hear them applauding as you wrap up with a big smile on your face.
Let’s say you’ve had a falling out with a close friend and you want to reconcile with them. For this scenario, try to imagine yourself in a serene place, perhaps a quiet café or a park. Feel the anticipation, but also a sense of calm as you wait for your friend. Watch your friend approach. See, their face showing a mix of nervousness and hope. Hear yourself and your friend having a conversation, where you discuss the problem, express your feelings, listen to each other, and come to a resolution. Feel the relief and gratitude.
Visualization Meditation Benefits
The practice of visualization meditation isn’t just a mental exercise; it offers tangible benefits that can transform your life in various ways:
Boosted Confidence and Self-Esteem
By visualizing successful outcomes, you are essentially training your brain to be more receptive to thinking about how you can succeed rather than how you might fail. Over time, this can bolster your confidence and self-worth, making challenges seem achievable.
Enhanced Mood and Reduced Stress
Immersing yourself in positive scenarios stimulates the release of feel-good hormones in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin. Consequently, visualization meditation can be a potent tool for mood elevation and stress reduction.
Improved Focus & Concentration
Like other forms of meditation, the visualization technique hones your ability to concentrate. As you get better at maintaining envisioned scenarios without letting the mind wander, your overall focus sharpens – and this spills over into the everyday, improving your focus at work, school, in sports, etc.
Catalyst for Achieving Goals
There’s a reason athletes visualize their plays and wins. By mentally ‘rehearsing’ a desired outcome, they become more attuned to the steps required to make it a reality. You can do this as well, and it will propel you towards your goals with added gusto.
Transporting your minds to peaceful settings fosters deep relaxation that will help you get to sleep faster and improve your sleep quality.
Visualization meditation is a tool that enables you to steer your life in the direction you want it to go. By employing the 3 visualization meditation techniques mentioned above, you can not only learn to elevate your moods on demand, but you can also rewire your brain to be more receptive to positivity, success, and joy.
So, the next time you find yourself ensnared in the web of negativity or stress, remember: the power to create powerful, positive vibes lies within