10 Surprising Benefits of Creative Visualization

The origin of creative visualization can be traced back to the ancient Roman when Cicero, the Roman statesman, introduced the concept of the mind’s eye. It is referred to as the part of the subconscious mind that deals with visual imagery.

For centuries, this concept has been studied and developed by countless researchers, physicians, as well as psychologists around the world with the aim of finding its significance for life. The concept found a new light in the late 1970s when an author named Shakti Gawain wrote the precise application of creative visualization along with its benefits for personal and social development.

What is Creative Visualization and How does it Work

Creative visualization is a mental technique which allows you to visualize your goals and dreams in your mind. This technique is performed in the meditative state. To do so, you need to focus and relax while imagining what you want to have or achieve in real life.

Many people assume that creative visualization sounds like daydreaming in a nutshell, but it is actually more than that. Closely linked to the law of attraction, this meditation technique offers deeper meaning behind it. During the process, you are required to create dreamy scenes in your imagination and hold onto them for certain periods of time. You also need to believe in that mental vision, so that it can connect with your feeling and emotion.

Repeated practices of creative visualization will help your subconscious mind accept the goals and dreams that you constantly imagine. In addition, it will change your mindset as well as create new habits and actions that can lead you to get closer to your dreams.

The Benefits of Creative Visualization

The practice of creative visualization is believed to bring positivity in life, especially when it is performed continuously. This meditation technique also offers numerous benefits that are associated with the development of the mental and physical state. Here are some major benefits that you will get when practicing the visualization.

1.     Relieving stress

Creative visualization needs to be performed when you are in a relaxing state. You have to take the time out of the day to sit still and relax while enjoying the quietness of your surroundings. Just like regular meditation, this practice will help you relieve any stress, pressure, and burden that you face on a daily basis.

2.     Improving your mood

In addition to being a stress reliever, creative visualization can put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. Once the visualization session is finished, you will feel calmer and more relaxed. This results in a considerable improvement in your mood.

3.     Increasing focus and concentration

By sitting down and visualizing positive images in your mind, you automatically increase focus and concentration. This practice can also lead you to think and remember how to achieve the goals you visualize.

4.     Building confidence

Personal positivity is one of the most common benefits that creative visualization offers. It works by building confidence as well as enhancing inner belief in one’s self. The increased self-confidence actually comes from constant visualization in which you imagine being successful or doing amazing things.

5.     Giving you inspiration

Regular visualization of your goals and dreams can get you inspired to make them happen in real life. In fact, you can use that inspiration when deciding what actions to take that will make you closer to your goals.

6.     Making you feel happier

Creative visualization has the ability to bring joy and excitement. It comes from the moment you imagine the wonderful things you want to achieve. As a result, you can feel happier after finishing the visualization practice.

7.     Overcoming anxiety and nervousness

Whenever you feel nervous and anxious about a particular situation, practicing creative visualization is a way to go. The practice can help you overcome anxiety by clearing away negative and persistent beliefs, which often make you nervous.

8.     Enhancing social relationships

Improved confidence and better mental state are the personal benefits that you can reap from visualization practice. These benefits can also give positive effects to your interpersonal relationship. Several studies suggest that regular practice of creative visualization brings positive attitudes that can assist you in social interaction.

9.      Improving physical performance in sports

It is believed that athletes who regularly practice creative visualization can improve their physical performance in sports activities. For starters, it improves the exercise rhythm, which helps athletes learn new skills more rapidly. The visualization can also prevent injuries and technical problems during the athletic sessions.

10.Synthesizing beneficial chemicals in the body

The meditative process of creative visualization will enhance the production of healing chemicals in your body, such as endorphin and encephalin. When both hormones are released in the brain, they will reduce pain and make you feel more energetic.

All in all, creative visualization does offer a multitude of tremendous advantages that will benefit your mental, physical, as well as a social condition. This meditation practice doesn’t only put you in a calming and relaxing state. It also serves as an alternative way that can motivate you to achieve any goal you set in life.

The Puzzle of Reciprocal Altruism: What Makes Humans Help the Others?

Conflicts are happening almost everywhere in the world nowadays. Many—especially women and children—are suffering because of the constant wars. While most of us can only watch and mourn from afar, there are actually some people who really went there and lent their hands to help. Some of them are paid to do so, but some others do it voluntarily. Can you believe that? They are risking their own lives for no pennies at all!

Many scientists and philosophers have been wondering what makes humans help others. Based on the neo-Darwinian theory, humans are actually selfish. We are designed to carry numerous genes, survive ourselves, and reproduce the new generation. Therefore, helping or even sacrificing ourselves for others doesn’t seem to make any sense. That is probably why the reciprocal altruism theory exists.

What is Reciprocal Altruism?

Reciprocal altruism is a theory that explains humans’ helping behavior towards others with a hope that they would return the help in the future. The behaviors include (but are not limited to) helping people in pain due to sickness or accidents and sharing knowledge, medicine, money, food, etc.

Based on the theory, it is a human nature that when one takes our help but doesn’t give back, we feel upset. On the other hand, if we take but can’t return the help, we will feel sorry. As a matter of fact, our society is based on helping and getting helped back.

Even though a little bit different from that of humans, reciprocal altruism is also a phenomenon among several types of animals. Chimpanzees will look after their counterparts that have helped them before while vampire bats will feed the other bats that have done some favors for them in the past. Apparently, the phenomenon happens amidst species in a stable colony with a relatively long life-span.

Historically, the “altruism” concept was first introduced by Auguste Comte, a French philosopher in the 19th century. Derived from a word in French, “altruisme”, Comte had no doubt that the concept is actually a moral doctrine—against egoism—focusing on sacrifices of ourselves and benefits for others. In other words, he believed we humans possess both selfish and altruistic sides, and the latter is aimed to limit our selfishness.

Is there Such a Thing as Pure Altruism?

I suppose that many good deeds are encouraged by self-interest, but as the opposite, I believe that there is also “pure” altruism. Kindness acts that the volunteers do to the war victims in the battle fields such as giving away foods, clothes, and medicines, as well as taking care of the wounded victims are considered pure altruism.

Such noble acts mentioned above allow you to feel better about yourself, resulting in the others paying you some more respect, and eventually, you may also raise your chances to get helped back in the future. However, there’s also a chance that with helping others voluntarily, your motivation is just to fulfill a desire to lessen the pain that the victims are suffering from. Sounds too impossible? Read another case below.

This morning when I was trying to heat up some left-over soup on the stove, I saw an ant clinging on the side of the saucepan. Instead of shoving it away or just ignoring it, I gently stuck my finger tip to the side, near the ant, making way for it to leave the saucepan.

Once the ant went on to my finger, I moved it to a safer side of my pantry. Afterwards, I got back to my cooking activity.

Why do you think I did such a “noble” deed? Do you think I did it in the expectation that the ant would help me back in a life-taking moment like that? Or that it would tell all of its friends what a friendly human I am? Or probably I did it just to fulfill the needs to respect the other living things? Which one sounds more sensible to you?

Sorry, but none of those is the exact answers. I think when I decided to do that simple “noble” act, I had just been moved by my empathy. I was feeling empathetic to the ant as a living being that deserved to remain alive just like I was. I tried to feel what it was like to be in its place. Therefore, I have no doubt that empathy is what leads to acts of pure altruism.

Nevertheless, empathy has always been defined as a cognitive ability to look at the world through the others’ perspectives, and I think it is too underrating it. I believe that empathy is actually far larger than that. In my point of view, all living beings in the universe—not only limited to humans—are basically interconnected through empathy.

The Conclusion: The Puzzle has Finally been Solved

If we look at ourselves through the evolutionary perspective, we are not more than just the carriers of thousands of genes who are egoistic and just want to survive themselves. Fortunately, we are gifted with the altruistic sense to balance our selfishness.

It is very human, though, if we do good acts based on the reciprocal altruism concept, in which we are expecting others to help us back. In fact, it’s actually considered as a survival method—not only for humans but also for other living things. Furthermore, we are also capable of showing our empathy at the higher level, which is based on the pure altruism, we can help the others just to put ourselves in the others’ “shoes”.