In their stages of change model, Prochaska and Diclimente theorise that people use a variety of different thinking and support methods throughout the life cycle of each change undertaken. Visualisation techniques help bolster these support methods to better prepare people for change and allow them to move from the relapse to maintenance stages of change more quickly.
Over the last 5 weeks we have looked at a variety of ways you can change your attitude to achieve the health change you want. In particular, we've looked at how visualisation helps people:
Become more aware of the healthy habit or change and experience stronger emotions about a poor health habit as in how positive affirmations encourage you to live as if you were already succeeding at your goal to fill your mind with triumph.
Realise this healthy habit is preferable to the previous bad habit as in the case of NLP where the bad choice is muted and grey in contrast to the vibrant and large imagery of the positive choice.
Pay attention to ways in which the world in general supports the healthier habit and pay less attention to the perceived rewards of the poor health habit where the immediate negative imagery reinforces the good behaviour we aim to adopt ourselves.
Believe that a change is manageable for them and reward themselves for good health habits such as the CBT method of imagining every aspect of a potential failure to truthfully understand the extent of the negative impact of poor choices, the better to prepare for the next temptation.
Why not run a few poor habit and great habit scenarios through your head today and consider how you can use visualisation techniques to help you stay focused on your goal.
In the next series of articles we’ll help you plan the perfect framework for your goal so you can avoid overwhelm and take on achievable change.