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Changing You by Changing MI – Shortcut to Initiate Change

Updated on May 27, 2020
Sowrabha Mahesh profile image

An NLP Coach,healer, meditator and Nature lover I believe that we have the power to make life simple, happy and achieve all that we wish to.

One picture equals a thousand words. Cliched yet powerfully true.

Let me start with a question (okay, I have already started but so what?). Which is the most famous image floating in the world currently? Did you shout Corona Virus? Then you got it absolutely right. Because even a two-year old or maybe less can identify the corona virus what with so many images of the virus floating all over the media space. Infact, my daughter recently saw some wildflower and immediately shouted out Corona. If not for the image, the corona virus would have been just any other virus lurking somewhere done to death with an antibiotic or a herbal remedy. But this ubiquitous image of the corona virus along with its notorious powers, has given it such international fame and recognition that other viruses can only dream of!

Each country has images associated with it. Mostly the National Flag and the most famous monuments. France instantly brings to mind the Eiffel tower for instance. Same holds true with each religion. Even famous companies have an image (called a logo) which contributes to their instant recall status. Think of Coca cola, McDonald's, Nike. The impact of an image can be understood from the fact that even an infant which cannot identify a written word can still identify an image.

Power of Mental Images

About 70,000 thoughts on average in a day. That is how much the brain thinks. And the human brain is programmed to process images about 60,000 times faster than words.

And any guesses as to what could be the percentage of information transmitted in visual terms to the brain? It is a whopping 90%. That is how visual the brain is.

Now this is huge. In terms of memory, people remember 20% of what they read, only 10% of what they hear and almost 80% of what they see.


Which do we remember more?

 
 
Hear
10%
Read
20%
See
80%

Zoom into your life

Now let us come closer home. When you think of your mother, immediately a mental image of a smiling, loving face immediately springs to mind. Right! When you think of your school/college, does your mind conjure up an image, mostly a positive one? When you think of your favourite foods, again an alluring image pops up. When you think of your friends, again a happy image of good times spent in the neighbourhood café. Thus, we can infer that every thought and word has an image either supporting it or associated with it. These we will name as ‘Mental Image’(Mi).

Now let us play a game.

Game of Awareness

Now think of the three most important things in your life. Let me present a list.

  • Your relationship with self
  • Your health
  • Relationships with loved ones
  • Relationships with friends and others
  • Professional relationship with your boss and colleagues
  • Relationship with money
  • Relationship with the Higher Power/ God.

This is not an exhaustive list and you can include whatever else comes to mind.

Next, write down the first image that comes to mind on all these topics – shall we label it as the mental image?

Firstly, did you have an image? Most people when asked this question come up with a blank because they have never thought on these terms. Other times it is usually a negative image that is the first recall.

I have asked this question to many and on an average the answers would range from a total blank to vague answers to totally negative ones. The most common images associated with health were those of illness, reports, tests, grim diagnosis, pills. For finance the images were endless bills, endless payment reminders, loans lent and forgotten (by the borrower, that is).

Now you get the drift. It is understandable that we remember and recollect negative images.

But what is of definite concern is that the primary images associated with these key aspects of our life are so negative.

“A belief is just a thought that you keep thinking and an image that you keep seeing.”

— Louise Hay

The Power of Clarity

So, now that we are done with the first and most vital step of awareness of our images comes the more important task of changing them where they are creating more harm than good. This is the fun part.

The first step in creation is always a blueprint. An artist has some kind of a mental image of what his/her painting should look like.

Similarly, building a house requires an elaborate blueprint by the owner in tandem with the architect. The clearer the image, the easier it is to translate into reality. And a beautiful elegant home appears where once thin air was.

Brace yourself, for you similarly are the architect of your own life and have both the power and responsibility to create the best life possible.

Stringing Together Affirmations, Mental Image, Visualization with an Example

Affirmations are positive thoughts or statements with power. They are used to instill positive behaviours, improve self-image and slowly and surely weed out negativity.

One of the earliest affirmations before the affirmation movement became big was and is ‘Every day in every way I am becoming better and better.’

Mental Image (MI) could be termed the visual equivalent of an affirmation. Used as an accompaniment, it can also support affirmation wonderfully well. It is that image that can powerfully add/enhance and kickstart your brain into action in the optimal direction.

Visualization is a like a movie where you see yourself performing a set of actions that achieve a certain desirable outcome whereas Mental Image is just a frozen snapshot that immediately reminds us of something.

Suppose someone were to be fighting a heart condition let us look at how can they use this system.

Step 1

Start with a regimen of affirmations, mental image and visualizations. These three can be combined to create a potent combination. This should go hand-in-hand with medication and conventional treatment.

Step 2:

Create an affirmation such as ‘I choose to heal you my heart. Blood flows easily. I am open to complete healing and ready to dissolve all the blocks. I deeply thank you for all the hard work you have put in all these years.’

Step 3:

This should be coupled with a mental image of a heart with its valves, chambers, arteries, veins and capillaries looking happily normal or a report from the Doctor with all the parameters looking normal. Take a printout of the one image of the heart which connects and see it enough times to convert into a mental image (MI) or, have a picture of a healthy heart and the words ‘functioning at 80% efficiency, excellent’ inscribed on it. The mental picture created should be one that completely resonates because the next time the word heart is mentioned that should be the first pop-up-image.

Step 4:

In the morning and night, while still in a state of slumber visualize the heart feeling healthy and happy. Blood is flowing easily. To lend credibility to this process some homework is essential. 3D videos on YouTube to get an idea of how a healthy heart functions serve as a brilliant visualization aid. This will create fodder for the imagination and make visualization realistic and easy.

This is absolutely the right juncture to let you in on a secret related to your brain. A secret that will lend validity to the above-mentioned steps.

“The brain does not know the difference between reality and imagination.”

Suddenly everything makes more sense, doesn’t it? But remember to do these two things for it to work well, really well and convert into reality

1) Remember to inject feeling into the whole process. Feeling is what will trigger your brain to secrete all those good chemicals which will set the ball rolling. Feeling is what will fool the mind into thinking that the event is happening right now.

2) Habit is nothing but repeated action. So, repeat the above-mentioned steps till it becomes a habit and the default mode.

This process holds good for everyone and everything. A sportsman who wants to achieve heights of excellence ( Infact a lot of sportsmen do swear by this method), someone who is working at improving their financial condition, a business owner who wants to expand and get into new territories, a pregnant lady, a teacher who wants to help her students, students who want to do well in their exams, a writer trying to make a mark, a person trying to heal themselves of their illnesses, a girl/boy desirous of attracting the right partner into their life. The list goes on and on.

Whether it be for a long-term or a short-term goal, it is equally effective for both.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” –

— Albert Einstein

Game of Re-Creation

Now time for some action. Time to get rid of the default thinking and mindfully create a new reality. This is where we put to full use our creativity, imagination and resourcefulness. It is best to use these to resolve a problem than to create a problem.

There are two approaches-

  1. Using realistic images
  2. Using metaphors

Which one you choose to use completely depends on what resonates with you.

Health:

If there is any particular organ troubling you for e.g. stomach issues, you need to have a mental image of a stomach looking beautifully healthy. Also, you could picture a report with all readings normal.

The second approach would have you using metaphors such as

- likening your health to the ‘radiant, raising sun’

- Seeing diseased cells being eaten by antibodies and white blood cells just as Pacman mercilessly devours the dots.

Money:

In the realistic approach, you could

  • Picture a mental image of a statement from the bank and fill in the blanks with your dream figure.
  • Image of you returning the money that you had borrowed.
  • Image of you receiving the money lent.

Use metaphors and symbols to drive home the image

  • It is torrentially raining money and opportunities
  • Waterfall of money and opportunities
  • My career is as sturdy and sound as a banyan tree with strong deep roots and widely spread branches signifying abundance.
  • Ever-on fountain raining abundance of money and opportunities.
  • Image of the source supplying you as a bottomless pit (of money, abundance, opportunities, creativity).

Glowing With Radiant Health

Source

Worries:

  • Image of worries getting sucked in a deep whirlpool.
  • Image of troubles falling off an abyss.
  • All my worries are getting flushed down the toilet.

Creativity:

An artist friend of mine once shared this, “As a child, I was an avid Enid Blyton fan and loved her Enchanted Woods series. I especially found the Faraway Tree fascinating where a tree had a door high up on its branches and every time you enter the door there would be a different world- some enjoyable like the Land of Birthdays and some challenging like the Upside-Down World. Every time I needed inspiration, the image of that tree and that door would pop up and immediately light up my imagination.”

'I am as limitless as the sky' is another beautiful metaphor for creativity.

Strength:

We need mental images for general inspiration and to provide strength and succour.

Your mental image for strength could be that of your grandfather who braved great odds to achieve what he did.

It could be a lotus which rises above the muddy waters, radiant and beautiful or its leaves which repels water and remains clean despite living in the muddy waters. Rising above all odds.

It could be of your favourite hero who obviously did what was deemed impossible.

Inspiration everywhere:

Once you open your mind, inspiration is all around - from nature to favorite movies, to even video games that you play.

As Limitless As The Sky

Source

Application Made Easy

Simple. The same way that the corona virus found itself in your head. Through constant, round-the-clock exposure. You are going to be your biggest news channel.

  1. Keep a physical image/photo with you at all times. Paste one in all the key private places you frequent- your mirror in your washroom and bedroom, your work desk etc. Keep a photo in your wallet. Put that image as the wallpaper on your smartphone and your laptop.
  2. Look at it several times a day. As soon as you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night are a ‘must and should time’. Make it a habit to see it at your coffee/tea times and every time you eat anything. Literally feel that along with your food this is also getting into your system.
  3. For some people it happens sooner, for others later. But just the act of repeating this process will ensure that the day will come when you close your eyes and the image that you have worked at ingraining into your system will pop up independently on its own. The connection is established between the image and the aspect that you are trying to work on. Yippeee!!

Where your attention goes, there your energy goes.

Where your energy goes, that thing grows.

We are an overworked generation juggling jobs, family, personal interests. So, any simple method is always welcome. Using this positive mental image (MI) method can really help as a shortcut to get things up and moving fast.

Let us keep the genie of the mind busy with positive mental images of our choice so that it doesn’t latch onto random harmful images in the general environment.

Use this method to create beautiful mental images and thereby easily initiate the process of creating a beautiful life. May the journey begin now!

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.

© 2020 sowspeaks

Comments

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    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      2 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I agreed with the comment.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Miebakagh, it is a rather long read and I thank you for having read it in its entirety. I appreciate that you understood my effort. Thank you so much!

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Namaste Umeshji, thank you so much for visiting, reading and sharing your feelings.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Chitangada, thanks for this very encouraging remark. Loved what you just shared .. We have to make a conscious effort but it is good for our mental health. Very very true. It's not so difficult to maintain mental health ,only requires imagination and application.

      Appreciate your visit and this lovely reminder of that.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      2 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Avyukth, glad that you understood the essence of the article and got some ideas. Very well put , we have to keep moving to even stay at the same place and as my daughter used to say when she was young 'it's because the Earth is circling the Sun'.!

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      2 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      I agreed.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Absolutely wonderful, intelligent and engaging article. So many things to learn, so much to ponder upon.

      I agree with you almost on all the points. It’s the positive mental images, that we should keep on building. Sometimes we may have to make a conscious effort for it, but that’s good for our mental health.

      Thanks for sharing this excellent article.

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      2 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Sowseaks, what a long read, and full of information. I see that you gave your best. Thanks.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      3 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Excellent article. So many things to learn. Thanks.

    • Avyukth profile image

      Avyukth Krishna 

      4 weeks ago from Bangalore

      As humans we have a tendency to get comfortable and settle down. But we need to realize that if we are not going forwards, we are only going backwards. So constant change and upgrading oneself if of great essence. The hardest part is initiating change and you have given wonderful ideas to tackle that Thank you for this article !

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      4 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Risha, this was such a heartening comment to read that it had a healing effect on you. I hope that it helps others similarly. Thanks for sharing your views. Truly appreciate!

    • Risha Khan profile image

      Risha Khan 

      5 weeks ago from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh

      Mental images create an illustration in our brain and we respond positively or negatively as per our experience. Reading your article seems like a healing experience for me, Sowrabha Ji. It will definitely help many people to have a positive outlook towards life.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Nikhil, happy that you visited and took the time out to read and post that detailed comment. You are right about the movie. Am elated that you intend to put it into practise. Have fun putting it into practise and three cheers to the new improved you looking back at you.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Thank you Manatita44! Coming from someone whom I see as the high priest of creativity and beauty, I am honoured. I believe that no matter how hard things seem to be, one beautiful thought and feeling can initiate the process towards a better life. Like Paramahansa Yogananda always emphasized, carry your inner portal of paradise.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Flourish Anyway, I am sure that you will do a great job of staying off the chocolate. Also make the chocolate look like a scary monster in your head and it will become that much more easier. Have fun in other ways and always keep that smile on!

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Swati, thank you for your generous words. I am glad that you liked it as much as you did. Thank you!!!

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      HI Suchi, thanks for all the positive comments and encouragement. Really appreciate it. Thanks much.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      6 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Eric, that was a nice way to put it. Thanks for visiting and hope you will be back.

    • sachnikh profile image

      Nikhil Sharma 

      6 weeks ago from India

      Great piece of article, Ms. Sowrabha. The way you've described each and everything related to positive affirmations, mental image, and visualizations are so engaging and practical.

      No wonder why people remember a scene of a movie better than the novel Your article clearly reflects your expertise in practicing these. And I'm also going to try it soon.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      6 weeks ago from london

      Beautiful thoughts and positive affirmations. You have put forward your case well for a more positive and harmonious approach. Nice work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 weeks ago from USA

      I'm going to visualize "skinny me" so I can lay off the chocolate during the shutdown. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Kh swati profile image

      Swati Khandelwal 

      7 weeks ago from Nainital

      Sowrabha, I am amazed to see the clarity of thoughts and the creativity you have evolved to the article. It's worth reading and sharing too.

    • talesofvikram profile image

      Vikram Brahma 

      7 weeks ago from Assam, India

      Hey Sowrabha, thank you for sharing such a nice article. I request you do write more articles related to visualization processes and other NLP techniques. I also like where you shared a quote - No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. Yes, this is very true to the core. Thank you and please keep on writing, don't stop.

    • Suchismita pradhan profile image

      Suchismita Pradhan 

      7 weeks ago from India

      I enjoyed reading this beautiful craft.A perfect article to start the day.Well presented thought provoking article.Keep writing

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I will be back. This one is a little long and chuck full of good stuff.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      7 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Thank you Murali ji for your incisive comments.The simpler we make things the easier it is to apply in daily life. Like you mentioned, I hope people find this article helpful and it provides an easy tool to create awareness and help initiate change in the key aspects of life.

    • Sowrabha Mahesh profile imageAUTHOR

      sowspeaks 

      7 weeks ago from Bengaluru

      Hi Lorna! I always look forward to your insights and comments.I am glad that you as a practicing psychologist found my article useful. I am quite sure that you must have used this extensively in your practice and helped many a client. Thank you for dropping you and your encouraging remarks!

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      7 weeks ago from South India

      This article will be e a good learning material for people who are feeling depressed because of illusion. One can overcome from illusion and think about the future goals and obtain positivity by mingling with enthusiastic people. Thank you for such an exhaustive article, Ms Sowrabha.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      7 weeks ago

      This is an interesting and well structured article. I use CBT as a form of therapy in my practice which teaches the client to change negative patterns of behaviour or thoughts into positive ones. Having a positive outlook in life, is essential for both mental and physical wellbeing. I enjoyed reading this enlightening article.

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