How to Visualize and Affirm Health and Life Goals

By Val Silver

Knowing how to visualize and affirm is an important skill for achieving your goals for better health and a better life. This is a proven technique for programming the subconscious mind to attune to what you focus on. 

A lot of people try using positive visualization exercises and affirmations only to give up, thinking they don't work. Sometimes things even appear worse, and they might be right about that! There is a reason this happens. Just like using any other tools, you have to know how to visualize and affirm correctly in order for them to help you get the results you want.

15 How to Visualize Tips

Whether you are using guided imagery and affirmation techniques, or using these tools on your own, the following fifteen tips will help you get the most benefit from your practice.

1. Choose a specific, realistic goal.

Saying "I want to be healthy" is an intention. It sets a general direction for what you want. But it is not specific. As is, "healthy" doesn't generate a realistic, specific image of what you want.  What does healthy look like? Feel like? What do you want to be able to do? Create an image of what healthy looks and feels like  in your mind. Find a picture. Written words and short phrases count as images too.

If your ultimate goal is truly outside your belief zone, that is okay. First choose a smaller goal that you do believe is accessible. Your ultimate goal may be to walk a mile, but a first achievable step may be walking 100 yards. Make this your goal. Then your images and affirmations will be believable. When you make that happen, move on to the next step.

Chunking goals into specific measurable, realistic steps that you can visualize achieving boosts your confidence and your belief, making this and the next steps easier to achieve.

2. Believe. 

If you do not believe in the power and benefits of what you are creating, neither will your subconscious.

Unless you really what you are visualizing, your mind will not work to help you get it. Perhaps your goal is a "should", not a true desire. Or perhaps someone else wants it for you more than you do. Perhaps you are confusing a means to an end as your desire. Perhaps there is another way to get what you want.

Your subconscious will only align with what you really believe.  Be very clear that you truly want what you are asking for and believe it is possible.

If negative self-talk pops up as you visualize and affirm, clear the path with energy flow techniques such as EFT as a first step. They can help you overcome these objections so you can move forward. Otherwise, you are likely to attract more of what you do not want.

how to visualize, Robert Collier quote

3. Create vivid mental images fueled with positive emotion and feeling. 

Imagine yourself doing what you want with a big smile on your face. See, hear, feel and believe it in your mind and body as if it were already a reality. Create a mental movie with as much detail and vivid imagery and emotion as you can create. Literally, physically, do a celebratory dance as you imagine your new reality coming true. Anytime there is even the smallest shift or success in the realization of your goal, celebrate and reinforce it like crazy. 

Sometimes an objection comes up when practicing how to visualize this way. It may feel like you are lying to yourself even though you feel aligned with reaching your specific goal. If this happens, explain to your subconscious mind that we are creating something together. Explain that you are giving it instructions for upgrading the system and rewriting old, outdated programs because, even though it does not like change, this goal is in your best interest. 

When writing and speaking affirmations, a simple change in wording can make a huge difference in how you feel about it and whether your SCM accepts or rejects it. 

4. Be mindful of how the subconscious works. 

Use this knowledge to your advantage. How to visualize and affirm effectively has a lot to do with the subconscious mind. Two of its main jobs are to keep you safe and to prove you right. It cannot be tricked to go against its programming or primed to accept new beliefs. It aligns your true beliefs with reality and vice versa. This is how the subconscious manifests.

Your nonconscious mind can and does learn by repetition and association, especially when emotion is involved. When it learns to associate your visualization with positive emotions and feelings in the body, it quickly accepts your images and affirmations. If you have ever experienced a trauma, you know just how fast this can happen. You can thank your emotional response for that. 

5. Commit to a twice daily visualization practice. 

The nonconscious mind is programmed to keep you in your comfort zone. Practice your affirming and visualization techniques at least twice a day to make the new habits and desires familiar. If you are using tangible images, train yourself to look at them whenever you are nearby. The more often the better. Post your images and written affirmations in easy-to-see places.

6. Be as relaxed as possible when you visualize.  

You best influence your SCM when you are mentally relaxed and focused. If you are feeling stressed out or hyped up, your brain cannot accept new information. A sufficient supply of slower alpha brainwaves are needed for this to happen.

At the very least take a deep cleansing breath or two before beginning. If possible enter a deeply relaxed state of mind and body.

The moments prior to sleep and right as you wake up are naturally times when brain waves are slower and you are more open to suggestion. When you catch yourself daydreaming, capitalize on this naturally occurring hypnotic state of mind.

6. Practice with full, yet soft attention. 

Forcing your attention creates tension and invites resistance. When your attention wanders from your visualization, gently bring it back. Be fully present to your images and statements. If possible, engage your body to make it easier to hold your attention for longer periods of time. This will also make the experience feel more real. 

8. Use tools to help you. 

Ready made guided imagery videos and audios can be a big help when you are learning how to visualize or need support. Vision boards are easy to make and are personalized to you. Mind movies make visualizing fun. They take a lot of pressure off having to create and hold mental images in your mind. 

Hypnosis, meditation, and brainwave entrainment audios are available to help you shift beliefs, engage mental imagery, and make suggestions to the subconscious about your goal. 

Inspire3 produces Brain EV, a simple self-development tool that uses scientifically-proven brainwave technology to reduce stress and anxiety, sharpen your mind, and boost your energy levels, and dramatically increase your happiness. Click the image to get your free mp3 download. Enjoy!

brainwave entrainment audio

9. After you visualize and affirm your goal, release it.

 It is tricky to let go of attachment to outcome when you really want something. Yet this is one of the most important steps of how to visualize.

Releasing does not mean not taking action toward the goal. It means you do not cling and hold hard to it mentally or emotionally. Release it to the 'universe'.  Believe what you want (or something better) will arrive in due time if it is for your highest and best good. Release judgments and expectations around how it will happen or what better means. 

You may also want to set the intention or add the words, "this or something better" to your words of affirmation. 

10. Be open to possibilities.

One of the benefits of knowing how to visualize and use manifesting techniques is that they open you to new perspectives and possibilities. As your subconscious mind energetically aligns with your goals, it focuses more on it and less on what is unrelated. You might meet people with the same interests, see articles about your topic, or see the same color car everywhere.

If you rigidly expect your goal to happen a certain way, you may miss insights and alternate opportunities.

When you are unsure, check in with your inner guidance to see if you are on track. If something does not feel right, you may need to reevaluate your methods or your goal. Be open and do not limit yourself. Adapt when situations unfold in unexpected ways.  

The real power of visualization and speaking affirming words is that they take you in the direction of your goals. There are so many possible variables it would be impossible to predict how events will occur. Perhaps someone recommends a speaker, sends you a book, or forwards you a job listing. You notice a poster for a wellness fair and actually go. Perhaps a door closes. Instead of giving up and despairing, adjust your antennae to the location of the opening window. 

When you allow life to unfold in time, without attaching to the particulars, you may end up with something very different, and even better than you hoped.

11. Take action toward your goal every day.

It is important to use your visualization techniques and take action every day to create forward momentum. Even taking consistent small steps such as reading a related article or cleaning out one drawer each day will convince your mind and the universe that you believe in your goal.

Manifesting techniques rarely bring you what you want without some kind of mental or physical action. It is kind of like waiting and preparing for a birth. Some things you have to do. Others happen outside your control.

You get closer to achieving your goal as you back up your mental practices with appropriate consistent action. For example, you can imagine a healthy, energetic body all you want, but if you keep filling it with junk while you sit around all day, it probably will not happen. As you faithfully continue your manifesting techniques, you may feel inspired to take a walk, or add a mound of vegetables to your plate. You may find (and make) a recipe for healthy cookies. You begin to feel and look better, which inspires you to continue the process. 

visualize quote, how to visualize

12. Be mindful of the inner voice reminding you of your goal.

Your affirmations and visualizations will become ingrained in your thought processes as you become more skilled at how to visualize and practice regularly. When you begin to head in your old direction your mind will send you a message about what you need to think or do. The reminder might be verbal, or an image may flash in your mind. Often these reminders are fleeting and quiet. These are great signs that your goal is being internalized. 

This is a pivotal moment of choice. You can choose the old way of being or the new way. Whichever you choose will either strengthen or weaken the energy of the new program you are installing.

When you hear the quiet voice in your head reminding you that you prefer another choice, and you still give in to negative thinking, inaction or another cookie you weaken the power of the new message. When you listen and align your actions with the reminders your mind gives you, sometimes just in a flash, your subconscious will accept it as true and right for you.

13. Move on from slip-ups. 

Old programs and habits are powerful. They don't go away without commitment. Sometimes, just as you think you have the new habit installed, something happens and you slip right back into the old habit.

Don't despair. Accept it. Just start again as soon as you can. As you reinforce new patterns more than old ones, it will get easier and easier to make better choices. Be positive about making your goal a reality no matter what. Life happens. Review the instructions for how to visualize. If you still have trouble following through, your goal may not be inspiring or right for you at this time.

Some signs that your goal is not inspiring to you are:

  • you find yourself losing interest, 
  • you forget about doing your visualization techniques
  • you do little or nothing to make your dream a reality.  

Be okay with that. Rework it or choose another.

14. Give the process time.

Be open and aware. You may experience changes happening and opportunities presenting themselves quickly. On the other hand, it may take weeks, months, or years to fully realize your goal. Continue moving in that direction, one step at a time. And when you can leap, leap. 

15. Only attempt to control yourself.

Follow the golden rule. Hold the best intentions for others as you would want them to do for you. 

These tips for how to visualize and use affirmations are only about your goals and desires for yourself. They are not about controlling someone else or getting what someone else has. In the long run, using manifesting techniques to influence or manipulate someone else will backfire. Do use these techniques on another's behalf only if it is something they desire, you have their permission, and you do so in a spirit of unconditional acceptance and love. 

Knowing how to visualize and use affirmation techniques, and following through every day takes time, practice and commitment. Being consistent will pay off as your subconscious mind attracts and helps you create the well-being you desire.

Related Pages

How to Visualize page updated 01/2021

For Educational Purposes Only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult with your health provider before using natural remedies and/or complementary therapies if you are pregnant, nursing, or you are being treated for a medical condition. Be aware that certain herbs and supplements interact with medications.

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