Have you ever fantasized about having that gorgeous house, perfect partner, hot body, or dream vacation? If you have (and who hasn’t?) you have already tapped into a technique that can help you get what you want.
Visualization is a mental tool that uses creative imagery to help you achieve goals and make positive changes in your life. Nootropics for visualization could enhance your mental practice for even better results.
Even the most powerful mind can’t magically turn running a ten-minute mile into a five-minute one. But using creative imagery can help you achieve your goals faster and easier. Here’s how it works.
What is visualization?
Visualization is the process of creating a vivid picture or scenario in your mind. Accounts of the use of mental imagery in scientific discovery and invention pervade history, and it has been used for thousands of years as a cognitive strategy for problem-solving, invention, creativity, and reasoning.
All types of professionals from musicians to surgeons use it to focus and improve performance. Athletes use mental imagery to boost confidence, strength, and proficiency. Artists use visualization to breathe life into their art. Motivational speakers instruct clients to imagine themselves achieving goals in vivid detail.
Arnold Schwarzenegger visualized his biceps as mountain peaks while he lifted weights. Leonardo DaVinci labeled his creative visualization process “sapere vedere,” or “knowing how to see.” And Tony Robbins touts visualization as a powerful tool for success.
“Everyone can use imagery to prepare for all kinds of situations, including public presentations and difficult interactions,”
Daniel Kadish, Ph.D.
How Visualization Works
Like all cognitive function, imagery is not a singular ability. It is a collection of cognitive abilities that varies between individuals. Different patterns of brain activity correlate with different ways of processing images.<2>
But some cognitive networks are commonly activated across the mental chalkboard. And nootropics for multitasking could boost this cognitive interplay.
Scientists believe we may experience real-world and imaginary actions in similar ways.
That could explain why the fusiform face area (FFA) activates when you visualize faces, while the parahippocampal place area (PPA) lights up when you imagine indoor or outdoor scenery.<3>
The occipital-temporal pathway aids in visualizing shapes and color, and the occipital-parietal pathway is used while visualizing locations, i.e. recalling the location of a sofa in the room with eyes closed.
- Whether we take a swim in the ocean or only imagine it, we activate many of the same neural networks. But which network depends on the type of imagery you create.
Sympathetic Nervous System
Physiological response shows that merely envisioning movement causes nervous-system response comparable to those elicited by the same physical activity.
Visualizing yourself working out stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and activates the fight-or-flight response like it does during an actual workout – increasing heart rate, breath rate, and blood pressure.
Other research shows that visualizing a triumph activates parts of the reward system in the brain. Neurons from this system in the substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area complex (SN/VTA) respond to mental imagery of rewarding scenes, increasing dopamine levels and encouraging positive feelings.<4>
Visualization’s dopaminergic reaction can trigger a type of neurofeedback through positive reinforcement, helping to improve cognitive self-regulation.
Mind Over Matter
One study, athletes who mentally practiced a hip-flexor exercise gained almost the same amount of strength as those who physically performed the exercise on a weight machine.<5>
Benefits of Visualization
Use mental imagery to keep yourself calm and focused. Mentally rehearsing an upcoming event like a job interview or concert performance can help you maintain focus under pressure.
Visualizing yourself remaining calm and composed during a challenging task can lower stress hormone levels and decrease physical symptoms of stress such as elevated heart rate and high blood pressure. Nootropics for stress can promote even more calm.
Performing a task in your mind may strengthen related neural pathways so the action feels familiar when you actually do it. For example, golf legend Jack Nicklaus practiced each shot in his mind before hitting it.
Visualizing success can enhance motivation and confidence.
Mentally picturing the completion of a goal in a positive context makes you more likely to put more effort into reaching your goals. Nootropics for motivation can boost a can-do attitude too.
How To Do It
“Imagery can’t make you perform beyond your capabilities, but it can help you reach your potential.” ~ Tom Seabourne, Ph.D., athlete and imagery expert.
Use all your senses.
Visualization is not limited to the visual. “The most effective imagery involves all five senses,” according to performance psychologist Michael Gervais, Ph.D., who works with professional athletes and athletic teams. He says “You should be so immersed in a mental image that it seems as if it is actually happening.”<6>
Adopt a First-Person Perspective
Be the star of your show. Don’t view yourself as if you’re watching a movie. To fully engage in your visualization, perform actions from your perspective rather than playing the role of an onlooker.
“Effective mental imagery is not wishful thinking, nor is it brief moments of ‘seeing’ success,” says Gervais. To be effective, you have to practice visualization repeatedly and in-depth. The imagery should be consistent and detailed to the point where it takes almost as long to execute in your mind as it would in real life.
Write it down
If you want to enhance the effectiveness of your visualizations, write everything down. Putting the imagery into words can reinforce it. Nootropics for writing can help with that.
The subconscious human mind cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. Your subconscious will act on the images you consciously create, so be as specific and detailed as possible with your imagery.
You attract what you focus on, so use affirmations along with creative imagery to focus on your desired outcome.
Follow this list of three rules for using affirmations:
- Stay positive.
Avoid negative statements that focus on the opposite of what you want. Instead, use positive phrases that reflect what you want to happen. If you want to feel confident, say "I am confident."
- Keep it short and sweet.
Use a short phrase. Your affirmation should be so simple you can repeat it over and over without thinking.
- Just say it.
Don't force yourself to believe it. Simply repeating your affirmation will tune in your mind and make it work for you.
Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for Visualization
Bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic plant used in superior nootropic supplements to boost memory, learning, and concentration. Its effects include enhancement of visual processing and improved overall cognitive function.
- In one study, bacopa significantly improved the speed of visual information processing, learning rate, and memory consolidation, while it decreased anxiety.<7>
L-theanine is the natural smart drug that gives green tea its unique cognitive blend of relaxation and mental acuity. Beyond supporting long-range cognition and brain health, L-Theanine encourages alpha waves in the brain, enhancing creativity and focus so your visualizations can be more detailed and last longer.<8>
Mind Lab Pro® nootropics for visualization support creativity and focus to help sharpen your mind's eye.
Mind Lab Pro® is a Universal Nootropic™ brain supplement designed to help you access 100% Brainpower™, a state of peak mental performance that can help you do anything you can imagine in 2018, 2019 and beyond.
- The key to effective visualization is building an immersive mental experience. Mind Lab Pro® can boost creativity and improve focus so you can create a better mental picture of your success.
Our thoughts and intentions are always manifesting in our lives. Mind Lab Pro® opens cognitive pathways that can help you harness the power of your subconscious and achieve whatever you put your mind to.
- Rieber, L.P. A historical review of visualization in human cognition. ETR&D (1995) 43: 45. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02300481
- Guillot A, Collett C. The neurophysiological foundations of mental and motor imagery. Oxford University Press. 2010. page 5
- O'Craven KM, Kanwisher N. Mental Imagery of Faces and Places Activates Corresponding Stimulus-Specific Brain Regions. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. Volume 12, Issue 6. Nov 2000. p.1013-1023
- Sulzer J, et al. Neurofeedback-mediated self-regulation of the dopaminergic midbrain. NeuroImage. Volume 83. Dec 2013. Pages 817-825. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.115
- Shakell EM, Standing LG. Mind Over Matter: Mental Training Increases Physical Strength. North American Journal of Psychology. 2007. Volume 9, No 1; 189-200
- Poole R. Building Resilience for Stress Mastery. University of Cambridge.
- Nathan PJ, et al. The acute effects of an extract of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi) on cognitive function in healthy human subjects. Human Psychopharmacology. 7 June 2001. Vol. 156, no. 4; 481–484,
- Kahathuduwa CN, et al. L-Theanine and caffeine improve target-specific attention to visual stimuli by decreasing mind wandering: a human functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Nutrition Research. Jan 2018. Vol. 49; 67-78. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2017.11.002