I struggle with visualisation, can you help?

“I am a leftbrain thinker, who really stuggles to visualise. I have tried a few training programmes and always tend to hit that brick wall when I reach the point they say “remember how it was”, or” imagine a time”. Would the Hypnotic Storytelling prgramme get me beyond this?”

Hi, The hypnotic storytelling programme can help you with this: we use all kinds of exercises that are designed to build the flexibility with which you can create vivid sensory experiences for yourself.

But I’m not the kind of guy who would sell you a computer when what you need is a pencil.

People have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the flexibility with which they are able to use their imagination. Some people can hear a full 60 piece orchestra in their minds. Some people can vividly create images with the kind of quality and detail that others only get in dreams. This flexibility is a natural consequence of, inate preferences, training and good old fashioned luck.

You say you are a “leftbrain thinker” and logically you will realise that unless you have had a major brain operation then you have a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere and both of those work together ALL THE TIME ALREADY.

You already visualise all the time. If you have any doubt about that try this exercise.

Think of two people you know very well.
Who has longer hair?
Who is taller?

If you can answer these two questions then your ability to visualise is working just fine.

I would suggest that what you are struggling with is your EXPECTATIONS of what you think visualising should be.

When I reflect on my own internal images i find that for some memories I have very sharp colourful, still “eidetic” images- what they call a “photographic memory”. For other memories the images are much less clear, they seem to flicker, or just appear briefly. When I imagine something in the future usually the images seem transparent as if overlaid on a dark background. Other times I am not even consciously aware of seeing anything but I have a SENSE that I am imagining something.

When I work one on one with clients who say they have difficulty visualising then I will often say “Just pretend to imagine that …” or even “imagine that you can imagine .. such and such” The results are the same as a straight forward “imagine that you can …”

So my suggestion to you would be first QUIT STRUGGLING and realise that even though you are not yet visualising in the way that you would wish to, nether-the-less, those training programs will probably work anyway. Second, if you want to improve your ability to visualise then START TRAINING.

Here are a list of some techniques that you can use to develop your ability to visualise.

1) Sensory overlap.

Sit your self comfortably with your hands on your lap and look down at your hands. Close your eyes and feel the position of your hands, the weight, the temperature. Rub your fingers together. Do the same with your eyes open. pretend you can see your hands with your eyes closed. Keep moving between what you can feel and what you can see.

2) Image streaming

Close your eyes and begin to describe out loud what you can see. “I can see a mix of blurry red and black, the after image of the lamp shade, patterns of colours spinning like a disc, a flash of an image of someone I’m meeting later …. ” and so on. You will quickly find that the confusion of light and colour frequently resolves into surprising images.

3) Object contemplation.

I practise this by simply looking out at the world, closing my eyes and imagining what I’ve just seen and going back and forth between these two as I notice the differences. It’s easiest to start with something a bit simpler and bolder. Get some clean white paper and draw a big red square, a green triangle, a blue circle, a black oval- anything will do really but these examples have a particular esoteric significance which I won’t go into right now. :-)

Take these shapes one at a time and practise looking at them, closing your eyes and recreating the image, looking at the image … and so on. Practise until you can hold an image of that simple shape in your minds eye for 5 seconds or more.

By the time you can do this you will be better at visualising than 80% of the population!!!

All the best

Robin

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