Visualization is the process of creating a mental image of what you want to happen. Research has shown that visualization can have both physical and psychological benefits. Repeatedly visualizing your goals can build confidence, and improves your ability to deal with stressful emotions surrounding the task. Learn how to lose weight with the power of visualization.

Our brains are comprised of two separate hemispheres; the left being responsible for logic, language, and mathematics, and the right handling our perception of space, visual imagery, and music. Cognitive therapy techniques like self-talk appeal to the left hemisphere, whereas creative visualization takes advantage of your right hemisphere's abilities.

In sports psychology, visualization is widely used to boost athletic performance. Athletes use it to visualize themselves winning a competition in advance, which helps them to cultivate a competitive edge, heightened mental awareness, and increased self confidence and well-being. Since visualization is completely in the mind, injured athletes can use it to see themselves back on the field playing, which has been found to speed the recovery process. In a 1988 issue of the National Research Council Journal, D.L. Feltz, D. M. Landers and B.J. Becker reported that this type of mental practice produces measurable results.

Visualization is a powerful tool to help you succeed in your weight loss goals. To prepare for a visualization session, find a comfortable place free of distractions. Take off your shoes, and turn down the lights. If desired, play some soothing music. Sit in a comfortable chair, find a relaxed position, and take slow, deep breaths. You are now ready to begin visualizing.

Visualizing yourself thin is a powerful way to stay motivated and keep weight loss at the top of your priority list, whether your goal is to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that the act of imagining every delicious detail of a food leads people to eat less of the food they imagine.

Visualization exercises can be visual, kinesthetic (how the body feels), or auditory (i.e. the roar of the crowd). You can use these techniques to imagine yourself at your target weight. How will you look? How will you feel? What will your friends and relatives say?

Visualization can vastly improve your effectiveness at achieving your goals. In a Harvard study, researchers discovered that students who visualized performing a task in advance later performed the task with nearly 100 percent efficiency. Those who did not visualize the task in advance achieved only a 55 percent efficiency when performing the task.

Negative thoughts come from emotional distress, inner turmoil and fragmented thinking patterns. Through the power of visualization, we use a natural and simple discipline to slowly calm the waters of negative thoughts and emotions and allow positive visualization patterns to take control. By combining meditation with positive images, your time of reflection is the perfect venue to use positive thinking to generate new constructive thought patterns. In fact, through meditation you can develop the ability to focus for longer periods of time and to allow your mind to rest on positive concepts long enough to permanently change your thought patterns.

Visualization is a powerful way to succeed in learning to live a life of positive outcomes. It is the only discipline that gives you the practical "how to" skills to see real progress in changing your thought patterns. When you can do that, you have the internal strength and skills to start thinking more positively and see the power of visualization begin to work for you. Start now, and lose weight with the power of visualization.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Locklear is a researcher and consultant with 30 years experience, studying health, nutrition, and human behavior. He has been president of the Global Peace Project since 1986, and he administrates the website as part of the Global Peace Project Educational Outreach Program. You can also find him on The Total Health Blog.