I love seeing how sometimes “woo woo” becomes accepted knowledge. We now know, for example, that the body and the mind are inextricably linked. We know that stress can cause you to become ill, and, conversely, a good “mental diet” will help you to maintain good physical health, or recover from illness, or live longer. Past superstitions are now documented, peer-reviewed science. Such is the case with the role of imagination – once the purview of witches, now a fundamental tool for the wellbeing of your nervous and immune systems.
Learning how to harness the power of your imagination will also help you to bounce back from everyday setbacks, instead of letting them haunt you and churn around endlessly in your mind. If you are upset over something that’s happened, imagine you were watching the scene on a screen in front of you, and tweak the appearance:
Make the screen smaller – or shrink any emotionally intense elements in the picture
Put more distance between yourself and the screen – push it far away
Make the image blurry and indistinct
Turn it black & white
Smother anything daunting with humour – give your grumpy boss a fake moustache, or a perm, or a pink polka dot nightgown
Put a barrier between yourself and anything that scares you – like a wall, or a moat with crocodiles, or a bulletproof bubble around you
Mute the sounds or make them funny – Donald Duck voices, animal noises, silly music playing
As you play with the visual details, make sure you are watching yourself on the screen as part of the film, rather than being immersed first-hand in the experience.
Of course, you can do all of this in reverse when you want to rehearse a positive outcome or a confident mindframe for a future situation: you might not change reality itself, but you’ll change your interpretation of it – the way you feel about it, about yourself, about life. Choose the resourceful, empowering meanings which move you forwards and keep you in good health.