Visualization is a powerful tool that our minds continuously use, even if we are unaware of it happening. Visualization is how anxiety and depression can seemingly become more overwhelming, as our minds paint pictures in our heads of hopeless outcomes or anxiety-ridden worlds. However, using visualization can help those in recovery begin to take hold of their success. Whether someone is engaging in a meditative visualization practice or utilizing a more physical representation technique, visualization is an incredibly powerful part of the recovery process. Learning how to acknowledge it and use it to benefit one’s recovery can help each person better understand their stresses and realize goals and resources in their lives along the way.
What is Visualization?
Visualization focuses on the mind and the pictures of what one expects for the future or wants to see. It is a way of imagining one’s success in life, or the mind’s way of playing out any number of “What if?” scenarios. Using these images in a meditative, therapeutic way can help someone harness the parts of their goals that they most want to see achieved. Visualizing someone’s success through addiction recovery can help someone find what is important to them and help them create a scenario in their head in which achieving this success is possible. Seeing this success daily, even by just visualizing it, can help the person expect positive outcomes rather than negative ones.
Asking to visualize what success is for those in recovery is intended to be open-ended. It can be a challenging question to answer for those just beginning their recovery journey. Many goals may revolve around the cessation of the use of an addictive substance. However, someone may not know what they wish to accomplish in their recovery. Visualizing success can help guide someone in answering these questions, as they may find themselves visualizing the development of personal relationships or see themselves in a particular professional field.
Visualizing success and allowing the mind to develop the complex images of success can also help someone identify the resources used to achieve these goals. For example, someone visualizing a successful personal relationship may imagine joking and laughing with others at a gathering. These images indicate that they may want to pursue a personal goal of learning necessary interpersonal and social skills and effective communication for building their identity. When provided the time and support to engage in a deep, meditative style of visualization, someone can unpack what they want out of their recovery.
Giving the Real World a Break
Visualization can also help someone detach from the physical stresses of the world around them. Proper visualization can be a way for someone to begin to put all of their energy into a relaxing, positive experience. Imagining success in a specific situation, while also providing time to process stresses, can help create these positive experiences. Simply exposing oneself to positive imagery, whether in one’s head or a physical form can begin to program them to see these positive influences. One can translate the effects of visualization into daily life and their world view.
Creating Physical Representations
Visualizing one’s addiction or success can also take on a more physical form. It can be challenging to describe what someone sees as positive or explain the exact feelings that come with recovery. Therapeutic approaches, such as art therapy, allow someone to visualize and depict the images that come to mind without the need for explicit explanation. For someone suffering from a negative emotional state in their recovery, placing these negative emotions on a physical medium can create a way to separate themselves from their feelings. Surrounding oneself with visions of success can be a powerful motivator. Making collages of impactful moments of positivity in their recovery with photographs, art therapy pieces, or written words can create positive imagery.
Visualization is crucial in helping someone realize their own goals and desires in recovery. It can force the brain to acknowledge positive outcomes instead of envisioning the negative ones or worst-case scenarios. Creating positive thoughts can help alleviate feelings of depression, addictive tendencies, and intense anxiety. Visualization is not just a way in which someone can imagine their success. It can also be a way to discover resources, strengths, and vulnerabilities along the way to help create a plan to make success tangible in their real lives.
Visualization in recovery is essential. Using it in a meditative, therapeutic way can help create images of success and goals for yourself. The process of visualization includes both pictures in the mind and physical manifestation. As you use visualizations, depressive feelings, addictive tendencies, and feelings of anxiety will lessen. If you or a loved one are struggling with your relationship with an addictive substance or behavior, START UP RECOVERY can help you begin to take the first steps to visualize success and coping mechanisms. During your stay with us, we help fit your personal needs and strengths in recovery. We also implement a transformative, proven set of core practices alongside supporting peers, professionals, and mentors to help you in your recovery journey. The comfortable atmosphere can help each person begin to visualize their success, while also providing a safe space to confront their vulnerabilities along the way. For more information on how we can personalize a stay for you or if you wish to talk to a caring, trained professional about your unique circumstance, call us today at (310) 773-3809.