A study recently published in the Journal of Neurophysiology revealed something that should astound us all: Muscle strength is largely determined not simply by the physical activity that produces muscle, but by the activity of your mind. The study of a small sample of 29 participants is an exciting example of the power of mental imagery on real life outcomes. Half of a group of volunteers had their arms placed in a cast for four weeks.
Five days a week, they imagined themselves flexing their wrists for five-second intervals. Since their arms were in a cast from elbow to finger, they never actually moved their wrists. Instead, here’s what they did. Five days a week, in five-second intervals, they diligently and consistently imagined they were moving their wrists. After four weeks of these mental-imagery exercises, the casts were removed. Both groups had lost strength, but the group that did the mental imagery lost only 25% of their strength while the group that did no mental-imagery exercises lost 45% strength. According to researchers, there is power in activating the part of the brain that would perform the actual task.
Your mind is so powerful that just imagining that you are doing something that strengthens you can psychically strengthen you. Imagine what this means in your everyday life. What are the most common mental-imagery exercises you rehearse? Do you imagine you at your best daily? Do you see yourself happy, successful, and at peace? Do you see yourself living your vision in your mind’s eye?
This week, I challenge you to use the power of mental imagery to strengthen your resolve to boldly and fully move towards the life that’s possible for you. It is simple:
1. Identify a specific scenario in which you want to see yourself in the future. Ask, what am I doing? Who am I with? Where am I precisely? When will it occur? Paint a vivid picture for your mind.
2. Get quiet. Breathe. Relax.
3. Imagine yourself in the vision as if it is the present moment. How do you feel? What do you see, taste, touch? Stay there for at least 60 seconds.
Make mental imagery a daily habit. Start for the next seven days, by carving out just two minutes a day to imagine yourself living fully in your divinely-inspired vision. When you see it, you’ll believe it. What you believe is possible, you move towards.
My challenge to you this week:
Imagine yourself in your vision. Every day this week.
What is the specific scenario that feels distant, but also feels true for you? Paint a vivid picture of yourself living in this vision. Then go there and visit that reality in your mind. Feel it. Taste it. Touch it. Breathe it. Hear it. Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!