💪 IMMUNE RESILIENCE #18 – 7-day ‘Mindful Detail Visualisation’

Immune Resilience #18: 7 Day Mindful Detail Visualisation. Is anyone else finding that a really challenging aspect of the Covid-19 lockdown is not being able to get outside and move in nature when you want to? For me at least, nothing beats getting out in nature and moving my body. The benefits of moving are myriad, from improved cognitive function to making us happier and fitter, indeed… all-round healthier.

However, even in ‘normal times’, many of us are bound by sedentary jobs, or spend far too much time in front of our devices. But we needn’t despair… we do have other ‘virtual’ tools we can use!

By bringing together techniques like mindfulness and visualisation we can reset our nervous system for rest and recovery, prime our brains for coping with uncertainty and change, optimise our cognitive processes and support ourselves in the journey of living our best lives.

“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.”

– Jack Nicklaus, US golfer – winner of 18 major titles

Mindfulness

Mindfulness stills our thoughts, pacifying our ‘monkey mind’ to bring us to focus on the present moment. Studies show a consistent practice of mindfulness, like contemplating mindful detail, even for a few minutes a day brings benefits for our mental, physical and emotional well-being.  We can improve cognitive function, prime our immune system to respond appropriately and raise our energy levels and better cope with stress.

Visualisation

Visualisation (mental imagery) activates the mind, using every sense in the body and every available neuron in the brain.  Research tells us that visualising a scene, action or behaviour is almost effective as the actual reality. In one study, which looked at brain patterns in weightlifters, the brain patterns activated when a weightlifter imagined lifting hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they were actually lifting.

Studies reveal that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions – highlighting the strength of the mind-body connection. The science shows that visualisation has a powerful effect on the body, impacting motor control, attention, perception, planning, memory and training the brain for actual performance.

And that’s not all – mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow.

It seems that the connection between thoughts and behaviours is a very important one.

But if you’re one of the many (like me!) who find it challenging to still those monkey thoughts and/or find it difficult (impossible?) to create mental images – you’ll likely give up trying way before you can reap the benefits.

By focusing on something visual and contemplating the detail, it may help us block the monkey thoughts...#mindfulness #mindfulvisualisation Click To Tweet

7-Day Mindful Detail Visualisation

What would happen then, if we were to employ both these practices in a ‘mindful detail visualisation’?  By focusing on something visual and using all our senses to contemplate the detail, it may help us to block those monkey thoughts and optimise our health.  By consciously engaging our senses acutely, it may help us to conjure the mental image more easily.

Let’s try a 7-Day Mindful Detail Visualisation and see what happens…


roseDAY ONE – ROSE

CHECK IN with yourself – how do you feel at THIS moment?

Now imagine you’re actually holding this beautiful rose in your hand.

– What do you see?  How many colours? How many shades?

– What can you smell?

– How does it feel in your hand? What textures can you feel?

– What sounds does it evoke?

– What pleases you about the rose?

Now CHECK IN with yourself again – how are you feeling NOW?

Repeat as necessary throughout the day.


fishing boats Crete
DAY TWO – COAST

CHECK IN with yourself – how do you feel at THIS moment?

– What do you see?  How many colours? How many shades?

– What can you smell?

– How does it make you feel?

– What sounds does it evoke?

– What pleases you about the coast?

Now CHECK IN with yourself again – how are you feeling NOW?

Repeat as necessary throughout the day.


cloudsDAY THREE – CLOUDS

CHECK IN with yourself – how do you feel at THIS moment?

– What do you see?  How many colours? How many shades?

– What can you smell?

– How does it make you feel?

– What can you hear?

– What pleases you about clouds?

Now CHECK IN with yourself again – how are you feeling NOW?

Repeat as necessary throughout the day.


leavesDAY FOUR – LEAVES 

CHECK IN with yourself – how do you feel at THIS moment?

– What do you see?  How many colours? How many shades?

– What can you smell? Do you feel freshness?

– How does it make you feel? What textures can you see?

– What can you hear in this scene? Are the raindrops gentle or louder?

– What pleases you about the leaves, and the raindrops on them?

Now CHECK IN with yourself again – how are you feeling NOW?

Repeat as necessary throughout the day.


Mount TiedeDAY FIVE – MOUNTAINS 

CHECK IN with yourself – how do you feel at THIS moment?

– What do you see?  How many colours? How many shades?

– What can you smell?

– How does it make you feel?

– What can you hear?

– What pleases you about the mountain?

Now CHECK IN with yourself again – how are you feeling NOW?

Repeat as necessary throughout the day.


strawberries - fruitDAY SIX – FRUIT

CHECK IN with yourself – how do you feel at THIS moment?

– What do you see?  How many colours?

– What can you smell? What textures can you feel?

– How does it make you feel?

– What can you hear? Can you hear the countryside or the kitchen?

– What pleases you about the fruit?

Now CHECK IN with yourself again – how are you feeling NOW?

Repeat as necessary throughout the day.


water - lakeDAY SEVEN – WATER

CHECK IN with yourself – how do you feel at THIS moment?

– What do you see?  How many colours? How many shades?

– What can you smell?

– How does it make you feel?

– What can you hear? Is it still? Can you hear birdsong? Running water?

– What pleases you about water?

Now CHECK IN with yourself again – how are you feeling NOW?

Repeat as necessary throughout the day.


Resilient health is holistic health.

Using mindful detail visualisation is just another strand of the complex, interconnected web of life – health, happiness, purpose, connection and fulfilment – which in turn underpins the principles of our ‘femergy’, particularly the idea of ‘being’.

Our health is in our hands … WE make the decision to create the lifestyle changes that bring energy, vitality and resilient health… so let’s take the first step, however small, and walk purposefully and consistently towards those goals.


This post is part of my Immune Resilience Series – with this series, I’m making a commitment to my subscribers to provide helpful, evidence-based information and insights into what we can do with nutrition and lifestyle medicine to build immune resilience – the capacity of our immune system to respond to external challenges (such as the Covid-19 pandemic) and return to a healthy state of wellbeing.

 


 

Izabella Natrins

After 30 years in the health space, I'm here to share and use my expertise and experience to help women to create the true health they deserve. My Femergy@40 Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching and Resilient Weight-Loss programmes empower, support and inspire women who are fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues, to find hope and optimism, regain confidence and create much better health. My book 'The Real Food Solution' 2020 (updated from Once Upon a Cook 2019) is an evidence-based treasury of real food wisdom and a call to action to change the way you eat, create more energy, vitality and better health and support a sustainable planet ... with traditional foods. I'm a qualified real food nutrition and lifestyle health expert, holistic health coach, nutritional chef and a writer, a speaker and a partner, mum & grand-mum.

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