Beyond running: How visualization can impact all aspects of your life

We’ve covered visualization and racing, and how it can help you be a better, stronger, more confident athlete, but did you know visualization can also help you succeed in your everyday life?

While the guided imagery in the activacuity app is geared towards running, you can use the same techniques in a variety of situations.

You can use visualization to …

  1. … feel more confident at work. Have a big presentation on the way? Did you recently get a promotion that gave you way more responsibility? Are you in charge of a new team? Whatever the task, visualizing yourself succeeding at it can help you be more confident in your abilities. If you can see it, you can do it, and while yes – that’s a complete cliche, in this case it’s true. Just like visualizing yourself running a strong race gives you the confidence to do so, imaging yourself kicking butt at work does the same.
  2. figure out ‘what’s next’ in life. If you’re not sure of what you’re doing with your life, rest assure you’re not alone. Visualization can help you move forward. When you think of your optimal future, what do you see? There several exercises out there that can help you determine what this is, set goals accordingly, and help get you there. Try this one for starters.
  3. … lower your anxiety. When you’re anxious, your breath becomes irregular, your chest tightens, and your palms gets sweaty. In other words, your body freaks out. But visualizing yourself in a peaceful, serene environment – somewhere you find relaxing – will help you become peaceful and serene yourself.  
  4. … sleep better. Visualization shares its roots with hypnosis, which has long been proven to help with insomnia. Similarly to lowering anxiety, when you visualize yourself resting and being relaxed, you enter an almost hypnotic state, which can ease your body, quiet your mind, and help you sleep.
  5. … eat healthier. Studies show imagining eating something that’s “bad” for you, actually makes you eat less of it. That’s because you’re tricking your brain into think you’ve already ate that food, and so by the time the food arrives, you’re already sick of it (after all, the first two bites are always better than the last two.) But the key is to make sure you do more than just picture the slice of cake; you need to visualize yourself digging into the decadent dessert, bite by bite, chewing each and every morsel.

Note that the benefits of visualization don’t happen overnight. Like anything, it takes time and practice.

What are some ways you’ve used visualization in your everyday life?