What is Visualization? How to Visualization Towards Recovery

“Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success.”  – Anonymous.

We all carry mental images of what we picture our life will be like. A mental picture can go as far as envisioning specific jobs, living spaces, spouses, and sometimes kids. And some of us may even go as far as imagining what our future dog might look like. The possibilities within our subconscious minds are endless.

But visualization can be much more than just daydreaming in the park. Sometimes visualization helps us get and stay motivated as we work towards the desired outcome.

Using Envisioning Modalities, People Can Curb Anxiety, Improve Relaxation and More

Using Envisioning Modalities, People Can Curb Anxiety, Improve Relaxation, and More

Without a vision for the future, our soul, mind, and drive for life perishes. But, having a dream can help us work towards overcoming immense obstacles. Thus, positive visualizations can have a physical manifestation.

Visualizing a future is vital for everyone.

But allowing ourselves to visualize things can help us achieve more than a comfortable position in life. Using visualization as a tool to enhance the brain and overall senses, guided visualization works to influence an individual’s addiction treatment effectively! In drug and alcohol treatment, positive visualization can make or break someone’s successful recovery. But, what is visualization exactly?

Understanding What a Powerful Tool Positive Visualization Is

The term may sound complex, but visualization in practice and definition is relatively easy to understand.

A powerful tool that has been used to help relieve stress, build self-esteem and enhance creative thinking. A positive experience with visualization has done wonders for people across the country. And the best thing about it? Using guided imagery helps people enter a relaxed state as it’s easy to use. It can also help improve the five senses for people as they work towards their recovery goals.

According to addiction content experts, medical reviewers, and American addiction centers across the country. Creative visualization may not be the only recovery technique a person uses to beat addiction.

But, positive visualizations can significantly improve an individual’s recovery journey.

American Addiction Centers Define the Mental Rehearsal of What Creative Visualization is Not

Often referred to as a form of a mental workshop, visualization is the process of forming a mental picture in your brain. This picture can be of anything.

They can be free throws off a person, place, or thing, real or imagined. As long as these imagination images are of something that stirs positive, motivating tactile sensations, thoughts, and feelings. Using visualization in recovery aims to align the mind and body.

By using the imagination to generate a goal of success, visualization practices help individuals focus on their vision to make it a concrete goal they are working towards. In the past, the visualization of things was only a pastime for people to create a pretend world in. But psychology today and American addiction centers have worked hard to transform the envisioning process.

So now, visualization is not the same as daydreaming or imaginary pretending.

What Addiction Recovery Visualization Mental Images Are

Today the term visualization is a broad but specific mental process. It involves individuals thinking about what has conspired in their lives in the past.

As they come to terms with what has caused their brain and body pain in their lives, a client’s visualization guide will help them re-create their mind. Now, the client begins to conjure positive, realistic goals to achieve in the future they can work on.

For instance, a person may visualize themselves getting married in five years. And now, with visualization modalities in their back pocket, they can begin to create a plan in their head that details their starting steps to make this dream come true. What the starting steps to make that goal happen might be can depend on the person.

But it would not involve them getting married to their celebrity sweetheart, to begin with.

Visualization is About Imagining a Realistic, Positive Future

Visualization is About Imagining a Realistic, Positive Future

The visualization tactic is a realistic, mindful concept that drug and alcohol rehab use in therapy. By using this therapeutic method, addiction treatment centers help clients cultivate their motivational skills.

But, they also help clients learn a new method of stress reduction. You see, envisioning change is not some mental form of escape from reality. Instead, cultivating a vision for success is a tool that can help individuals build the solid, realistic future that they want. Like graduating from addiction treatment and getting a new job in a field they enjoy.

How to Use Visualization Techniques In and Out of Addiction Rehab

In the end, the best way to imagine how visualization works is to think of it as a road map. People plan their course of action and begin to take the steps they need to get to their destination. And when a bump in the road occurs, they can plan again to fix the situation they have ended up in. As a result, using visualization tactics help people manage unruly feelings like anxiety by giving them a solid game plan to work off of. There are many different types of visualization practices. And visualization techniques can vary as well.

Some of the most common visualization practices and techniques include:

  • It can be hard to visualize something you have never experienced. Exposure visualization is gaining more knowledge and information on an experience to help better yourself. Imagine living through it and doing it. It is an excellent technique that gets you started on the path of getting things done to live out your realistic visualization.
Picture and Describe:
  • We often dismiss our thoughts if they seem too far-fetched for us. Or even if we do not want to picture ourselves having something we cannot or should not have in real life. Individuals working through alcohol detox and drug rehab may be reluctant to visualize themselves reconnecting with family successfully and happily. But in the picture and description, clients close their eyes and imagine a scene or image before them. They use every sense available to them to describe what they see. Like a family picnic where Nana has on her favorite red dress, she smells like earth from working in her garden. Picturing such an image and describing it in detail can help solidify our motivation to make the picture in our minds a reality, allowing addiction recovery clients to work towards their goals.
Emotional Intensity:
  • We tend to find it difficult as human beings to connect with an event that has not directly affected us. It is how we manage to get through life, somewhat unattached from a vast majority of events until they happen to us specifically. But in emotional intensity visualization, clients are encouraged to enhance their “simulations” with so much detail around an event that the circumstance begins to feel natural to them. Once they have passed into this realm of feeling, they can start making and taking actionable thoughts towards their goal.

And these are only a few of the practices that clients can use in visualization therapy sessions. Different tactics can be used to fit all the different kinds of people.

Like how no two drug and alcohol rehab centers are alike, no two people will have the same experience in addiction recovery. What works for one person may not work for another. So different types of visualization techniques exist to help clients get the most out of their therapy sessions. The proper visualization practice will help people feel better. And it will also help them improve upon their performance—all as they actively continue to make their visions a reality.

How to Practice Visualization

Practicing visualization in drug and alcohol recovery facilities like St. John’s Recovery Place (SJRP) can be extremely helpful to the motivational side of healing! The great news is that even after you complete addiction rehab and detoxification, you can still use visualization practices to help keep you on the path toward sobriety.

Healing is Hard, But Persistance and Practice Help Make the Journey Easier

Healing is Hard, But Persistence and Practice Help Make the Journey Easier

Addiction is rough. Detox and inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation are also challenging. But, recovery can help you learn a lot about yourself and give you the tools you need to be successful both inside and outside of addiction rehab. Practicing visualization in your everyday life can help keep you motivated to achieve your goals! But, how can you practice visualization outside of an official therapy session?

Here are five tips for how to practice visualization at home on your own time after graduating from rehab:

Use all of your senses:
  • Dive into how your visualization will smell, taste, feel, look, etc., to help make your visualization a reality you can build towards and realistically see yourself achieving.
Try not to judge yourself if you find your mind wandering:
  • Visualization is a mindful technique to help you hone your self-motivation. Sometimes focusing on visualizing will come quickly to you; other days, it may be difficult. When you find your mind wandering, try to retrain your brain on what you are doing, and focus on your breathing or another bodily sense to help realign your mind with the task at hand.
  • Being relaxed will help your mind open up more fully to the possibilities around you. Thus, giving you a wider breadth to imagine, cultivate feelings, and focus on realistic goals you would like to set for yourself through visualization. Being tense will only work to make the process harder, keeping your mind in a rigid form against opening up to the process of thought and imagination.
Don’t Overthink It:
  • Everyone visualizes differently. This, means we have different things we will imagine in differing ways. What might be motivational for you might be something that closes another person’s mind off to the realm of possibility. This is perfectly normal. Try not to force the mental effort. Instead, let the images, experiences, feelings, etc., flow through you as they come.

Visualization is an excellent technique to utilize inside and outside of addiction rehab. Visualizing your goals can help make them more solid for you. It can also help make them tangible in your eyes, thus making it easier for you to put in the effort to achieve them. The process helps to cultivate motivation and keeps you moving forward.

Addiction Treatment at St. John’s Recovery Place

If you or your loved one struggles with alcohol abuse or a drug use disorder, there is hope for healing. Here at St. John’s Recovery Place, we focus on cultivating a holistic, innovative recovery experience for you. Your emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and even social needs are met as you work through treatment. We understand how scary and hard diving into detox, inpatient, and outpatient rehab can be. Still, we promise you that the rewards for working towards healing are well worth your effort.

SJRP Crescent Entrance Close Up DSLR HDR

St. John’s Recovery Place Can Help Make Your Recovery Journey a Success

Let us be your cheerleaders and help guide you down the pathway to visualizing a whole new future for yourself, addiction, and substance use-free. Give us a call at 1-833-397-3422 to learn more about our facility, visualization programs, and other treatment therapies to see if SJRP fits you. You do not have to be a slave to addiction any longer!