Several recent health studies indicate a direct connection between our powers of imagination and our abilities to control food cravings, stay motivated to exercise, and even improve your eyesight. The theory is: Is we can visualize it, then we can achieve it. Try these simple techniques to harness your inner, mental superpowers.
In one study, participants imagined favorite locations and smells to reduce their desire to overeat. Some envisioned the sweet smell of eucalyptus. Others imagined a beautiful rainbow appearing in a crisp, blue sky.
We all know that physical activity helps to curb the appetite. It’s also an excellent distraction. But heading to the gym every time that we have a hunger pang is not truly convenient. Instead, use your imagination. Conjure up an image of you breaking a sweat while running on the treadmill or performing some resistance training. You might be surprised at the results.
Fake it until you make it. If you want to boost your confidence, start by acting the part. Strike a pose of your favorite screen legend or rock star. Research indicates that this act of pretending tricks the brain into stimulating an automatic hormonal response that builds your self-esteem almost instantly.
Some research shows that people employed in certain jobs that require nearly perfect eyesight tend to maintain their vision well into their older years. Airline pilots, for example, have a remarkable reputation for maintaining their 20/20 vision far longer than the average office worker sitting in front of a computer screen all day long. The next time that you are having trouble reading the newspaper, “pretend” that you very job depends on it.
Joachim Vosgerau from the Center for Behavioral Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University believes that by using our powers of the mind, we can protect ourselves from memory loss and increase our mental focus, too. Vosgerau says that by using our imagination, “the brain stimulates itself in the same way as if you were doing it.” Who knew that the World of Pretend could be so powerful?