How do I develop a piece of imagery?

To develop imagery think about what you currently do that you love; something physically active. Now think about a time that you were doing that something you love and it left you feeling fantastic. Got it? For example, if you like walking do you have a time when you were walking that you just felt great, time passed quickly and you felt like doing more? Write down everything you can remember about that experience: smells, tastes, feelings, noises, the way your body felt, the environment, etc. 

Writing this is a form of rehearsal. It will conquer up those fantastic feelings again and put you back in that place even if just for a moment. To carry that over not only do you want to write it down but you want to be able to image it happening over and over again and you can do that by recalling the information you wrote down. 

You can use this as motivation to get you started walking by running through either what you have written down (all of it or pieces of it) or what you hold in your mind. You can use it during your walk to keep you motivated and positive as you conquer up those feelings of feeling fantastic or you can use this anytime just to feel good, to feel motivated about anything, to connect to those feelings of success, improve confidence and to enhance a skill.  

If you don't have a past positive experience use someone else's experience in the same way, maybe someone from an exercise program or show.  
Darren Treasure, PhD
Sports Medicine
I actively encourage the athletes I work with to develop their own imagery script. The focus of the script is whatever aspect of performance or behavior change they are attempting to improve or practice. The script should always be written and in such a way that someone such as a film director could create the scene as clearly as the athlete sees it in their mind. The script must present the actor, you, not only from the perspective of a camera watching but also from your point of view (POV). The script should engage all the senses and be as vivid and clear as possible. As a first step in the script writing process take some time to really think through what you are trying to accomplish. Now, begin to image how the behavior you are trying to achieve should look and feel like. Make sure that you see and feel you being successful at the new behavior. The next step is to find a quite place when you are calm and your mind is ready to receive the images you have created in your script. Remember that what you see/feel is what you will get. If you can see and feel yourself being successful at the new behavior there is a far greater probability that you will be successful.
A script about the behavior is prepared including the use of all of the senses, written in a positive tone and performing the behavior in the correct way. If the behavior has been previously performed in a positive way, that experience can be written into script form to be used as imagery. Using a past behavior helps to realize that there are skills already present, provides a sense of self confidence and allows for further growth of those skills.

Continue Learning about Mind-Body Therapies

Can physical therapy reduce the risk of falling?
David Hogarth David Hogarth
Yes, the risk of falling can be reduced with measures to improve the environment in which you live a...
More Answers
How have views about the mind, body and disease evolved over history?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
Throughout history views on how diseases should be treated have changed, philosophers and thinke...
More Answers
Does Relaxation Therapy Help Treat Anxiety/Stress?
Does Relaxation Therapy Help Treat Anxiety/Stress?
Chanting Can Make You Heal Faster
Chanting Can Make You Heal Faster

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.