MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he visualized the whole Super Bowl before he even stepped foot on the field, where he would go on to lead the Green Bay Packers to victory in 2010.
Tapping into the mind's eye is a powerful technique used by not just athletes, but everyone from CEOs to doctors to those recovering from an injury.
People looking for a new mind-body technique may want to try imagery exercises, which uses creative exercises to picture scenarios that relax and heal. They can practiced on your own or with a facilitator guiding you, which is called guided imagery.
Similar to Dahn Yoga exercises that can provide stretching, soothing and healing treatments, imagery is a mind-body therapy that's been shown to lower stress.
A common relaxation practice is to visualize yourself in your "happy" place that puts your mind and body at ease. This may be at the beach with the waves washing calmly on shore, in a hammock feeling the warm breeze brush against your skin or at home in the couch listening to your favorite album. The trick is to incorporate all your senses. Although it's called imagery, conjure the sense of smell, taste, feel and hearing too. This will help transport you to another place, and temporarily relieve sensations of stress and tension.
Another example is to imagine an orange in great detail – the smell, the shape, the texture of the peel. Then continue to imagine that you take a bite of the orange and feel the juice squirt into your mouth. Many people salivate while doing this – which underlines how your body can respond to what you are imagining.
Studies have indicated that the use of guided imagery noticeably improve stress levels, anxiety management and post-operative healing. It can also help lower blood pressure and other problems related to stress. It may be applied to reaching goals such as quitting smoking or losing weight.
The foundation to self-healing is methodically communicating the desired messages or behavioral changes to your subconscious mind in its language: imagery. Have you ever noticed that watching a powerful movie or gripping dream can seem to produce the same effect on your body as if it were happening in real life? The subconscious reacts to this feeling and can work wonders.
Just like Rodgers, you can tap into the power of visualization in the imagery mind-body therapy.