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Change Your Emotions With Visualization

Updated on December 17, 2020
denise.w.anderson profile image

Denise has struggled with mental illness most of her life. She also has family members with mental illness. She speaks from experience.

What Do You See?

What do you see?
What do you see? | Source

Each Time You Look You See Differently

Look at the picture shown above. Do you see branches covered with frost? A pine tree? The street or countryside in back? Or do your eyes simply focus on the squirrel in the center.

The picture changes according to the moment's perspective. Perspective comes from the experiences of the past, how they were interpreted, and the emotions associated with them at the time.

We have two set of eyes, those that we see with that are on the front of our face, and those that are in our mind. According to Boyd K. Packer, "the mind is like a stage." There is always something playing on that stage. It may be a scenario stored there after being viewed with our natural eyes, or it may be something produced by the thought patterns engineering in the mind.

When the brain is in replay mode, both are equally real. Visualization changes what the mind has created and stored. Each time we visualize a memory, we see it from the perspective of the moment, and our feelings about the event change.

Things change when we look from a different point of view.
Things change when we look from a different point of view. | Source

Time Fades Memories

Seeing the tree with the squirrel from across the yard minimizes its presence. Time tends to fade memories, as well as distort them. Each time we remember an event, our perspective changes and we may not remember the same thing.

Learning to visualize is much like learning to pretend. We encourage children to pretend and develop their imagination, but when we become adults, we discourage people from living in a world of fantasy. In fact, the ability to check out of reality is seen as mental illness, and yet, being able to change your emotions depends upon your abiltiy to change what is happening in your mind.

Warning: If you have been abused, neglected, traumatized or diagnosed with a mental illness, it is necessary to have professional supervision during sessions of visualization practice.

You may feel trapped by your emotions, and that there is no way out.
You may feel trapped by your emotions, and that there is no way out. | Source

Examples of Changing Emotions Through Visualization

In order to change emotions through visualization, notice what is playing on the stage of your mind while you are feeling the emotion. Allow yourself to view it fully, although it may be uncomfortable. Accept what is happening on the stage as a part of you, then you are free to change it. Work toward resolution of whatever is happening and the emotion will dissipate.


I see myself in a baseball stadium at home plate with a pile of baseballs at my feet. Each baseball represents an object of my anger. I pick them up one at a time and hit them with my bat so hard that they sail right out of the stadium.


I see myself being crushed by a huge block of cement. I struggle to get out from under it and it crashes to the floor. I pick up the individual pieces and line them up against the wall. I am able to identify and see them clearly, then deal with them.

Fear of the Unknown

I am alone in a desert surrounded by sand. I hear a rumbling sound and the ground starts to shake. An army tank comes over the horizon toward me. I am frozen where I stand. The tank stops right in front of me and the top opens. A person gets out. I realize that the unknown is just people like me.

Fear of Rejection

I am a small child cowering in the corner of the room. I don't dare come out because I think that others will not like me. I see myself as an adult walking over to the child and giving assurance that everything will be all right.

There is a way to resolve the difficulty of the present. When the mind is allowed to find it, the body will follow.
There is a way to resolve the difficulty of the present. When the mind is allowed to find it, the body will follow. | Source

The Power of Visualization

Visualization is a powerful tool. It allows us to use our emotions to create images in our mind. Once we see the emotion visually, we have a problem to solve. Figuring out what to do with the image to keep ourselves safe solves the problem and at the same time, resolves the emotions.

Emotions do not go away by themselves. They are manifested in our bodies as physical sensations. Visualization changes these physical sensations and allows us to achieve a state of relaxation and peace.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Denise W Anderson


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