Determine the Details

Whatever time you spend creating your picture, remember – details do matter.  Use all of your senses to set an imaginary scene viewed through your own eyes. Imagine good cells sweeping away the sick cells. See it happen. What do your joints feel like when you climb easily out of bed in the morning? How does the new paint smell in the perfect home you’ve been visualizing? What does the engine in your dream car sound like? What tone does the doctor use when she passes along good news at your next appointment?

Don’t worry if you can’t actually see the picture in your mind. For some people, it is more of a feeling, or an intuitive sense of knowing.

“When I first started, I couldn’t see a damn thing,” Gordon says. “Now, I see enough to know it’s there, but in a shadowy way. I can feel it more in my body. I’m more physical that way.”

And the process does get easier with practice, Waitley says. Play around, and experiment. Visualize small things, such as a meeting with your boss running to perfection, or remaining calm while navigating rush-hour traffic. Gordon has applied the technique to everything from exercise to doctors’ visits, where she visualizes good, open interactions, as opposed to the hurried, stressful appointments she had previously.

After You Imagine It, Do It

Keep in mind, however, that simply visualizing isn’t enough. You still have to schedule the appointment, run the race, test-drive the car. You have to take action, Vitale says. It’s also important to work with trusted coaches, therapists, medical personnel and others who support your imagery and can instruct you in its practice.

Once you’ve imagined what you can do, have or be, do what it takes to nurture your dreams into reality. For Gordon, that means maintaining a healthy lifestyle apart from the visualization. She exercises regularly, eats well, and fosters feelings of gratitude and kindness. Yet, not everything Gordon has imagined has come true.

“For a while, I tried to make the arthritis disappear, but I never could quite visualize it,” she says. “But, visualization really has helped me deal with certain aspects of the disease.”

Sometimes, without our even realizing it, a lack of focus or attention causes our minds to wander, or allows doubt and worry to seep into our subconsciousnesses. Those misdirected thoughts can weaken our beliefs and sabotage our overall efforts to accomplish the “big picture” we’re imagining.