Quick Guide to Visual Thinking
What is Visual Thinking?
Visual Thinking, also known as; Picture Thinking, Visual/Spatial Learning or Right-Brained Learning is all about using pictures as a preferred way of thinking,Visual thinkers and learners can literally see pictures in their heads, compared with auditory thinkers and learners who hear streams of words.
It can be very useful in solving problems, being creative, thinking about complicated issues, and in improving the way you communicate.
Visual thinking itself is only one form of "non-linguistic thinking", which include physical (feeling/kinaesthetic), aural (sound/musical) and logical (mathematical/systems) styles of thought.
Why Would I Want to Think Visually?
Visual-spatial thinking is approximately eight times faster than auditory thinking. This is why gifted people often have a natural preference for visual thinking because it faster and most powerful than auditory sequential thinking.
Visual thinking dramatically increases the speed at which you can learn, concepts are rapidly understood when they are presented within a context and related to other concepts. Once you have created a mental picture of a concept and can see how thenew information fits with what you already know, learning is often permanent. Repetition is completely unnecessary and irrelevant to this learning style.
In fact many people who would be considered geniuses were well known visual thinkers, including; Albert Einstein , Thomas Edison , Winston Churchill , Michael Faraday and Nikola Tesla.
Also, visual thinking is the natural ‘language’ of the subconscious mind. BY thinking in this way it is much easier to bypass the critical conscious mind and access the vast resources of the subconscious, which allows for improved creativity and problem solving. When processing information at the brains natural speed. It has been estimated that the human brain can process 4 quadrillion bits of information per second (4,000,000,000,000,000 bits/sec)!
Can Anyone Think Visually?
and Can I Improve My Visual Thinking Ability?
In a word . .. Yes!
Although everyone naturally develops a preferred thinking style, the brain is just like any muscle within our body, so by giving it the right exercises it you can soon get it into the shape you want.
Below are some excersises that will both, help you develop the ability to think visually if you don't already, and help strengthen your ability if you can already think in pictures but would like to improve this ability.
The most importnat thing to remember when using these exercises is to stick with them. Just like you wouldn't expect to have teh body of a porfessional bodybuilder after one trip to the gym, if you have never been able to think in pictures before, you aren't going to suddenly get crystal clear images overnight.
This is a case where practice definitely does make perfect. The techniques and exercises do work, how do I know? Because I never used to be able to think in pictures at all....but now i can!
Visual Thinking Exercises
The Black Triangle Technique
Get some white card, and cut it into squares that are about 12 inches by 12 inches. Now get some black paper and cut some shapes like a triangle, a diamond, or a star, and stick it on the white card square. So you have a big white square, with a big black triangle stuck on it.
Now just stare at it, at eye level, and after staring at it for thirty seconds, close your eyes and try and imagine it just as you saw it. You can open your eyes and check it again, then close your eyes and imagine it again.
Just repeat that process until you find that you can hold that image in your mind for longer periods of time. If you can do it for 10, 20, 40 seconds you are doing great.
This is a good exercise to develop your ability to visalise clear and defined shapes. Once you have tried this with your card, you can more on to doing the same thing with anything else, like a figurine, the view from your window, a person in a picture etc.
Visualizing with Eyes Open
This visualization exercise isas simple as they come. Look around you and imagine picking things upfrom in front of you. For example, I am sitting at my desk, and I am reaching my hand out to the desk and imagining a bright red cup. It's a large cup, like you get in coffee shops, with a matching red saucer.
I hold my hand as though I am picking it up by the handle, and imagine feeling the cool hardness of the ceramic, the weight as I lift it up and how it pulls down on my fingers. I move my hand as though bringing the cup up to my lips and "see" how the cups looks as it moves and tilts towards me.
Some people find visualizing things with your eyes open easier, perhaps because you can kind place it in context of the 'real' things around you. Play with this as you go about your day. It's kind of like a conscious day dreaming.