Daniel J. Siegel, Ph.D., is a practicing psychotherapist, consultant, and researcher focusing on mind-body medicine. Dr. Siegel holds a Bachelor of Science in Social and Behavioral Sciences and is certified as a Master Practitioner in Social and Behavioral Sciences. He is also an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine, specializing in adolescent and couples’ psychotherapy.
Our thoughts and actions impact our bodies. These actions originate from our personal beliefs and our culture. Beliefs and culture are both internal representations of our innermost beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world in general. In essence, our thoughts and beliefs are deeply rooted processes of generating patterns that manifest physically through our physical systems. If these patterns are not resolved, they can eventually impact our brain, our behavior, and our emotions.
For example, if you have been struggling with anger issues, and you feel your anger is out of control, you may turn to alcohol or other substances to self-medicate. Unfortunately, these substances don’t solve the underlying problem. They just mask the symptoms for a few hours. They do not provide lasting relief. Your body will continue to crave the stimulant, which in turn perpetuates the cycle.
In contrast, a vision board provides a visual metaphor to aid you in examining your behavior and beliefs. The vision board is made of black posterboard with white grid lines. Each line represents a thought, feeling, or sensation associated with that particular subject. The top of the board is labeled “I,” while lower labels are typically “me” or “us.”
The purpose of this vision board is to give you a visual cue to help you reflect on your thoughts and beliefs. This helps you focus your attention and get in touch with your inner self. As you view your thoughts and emotions from your inner self, you can determine where you are failing, if you are happy, or if you are really happy. By connecting to your inner self, rather than your exterior self, you can make changes and improvements that benefit you and your relationships.
Using a vision board does require some discipline, since you won’t be able to do it during meditation. However, it can be very effective as you go along. Try making a new vision board each day. Focus on what things bother you, what you need to do, and what you want to change. Make a new list of friends and family who can help you encourage yourself. As you use your vision board, remember to keep a notebook handy so you can take notes about how you are feeling, what you observe, and what you want to change.
There are many resources that can help you make your own vision board. You can find them online. Creating a vision board is just like creating a new plan for your life. However, this time, you will have the motivation and energy to make it work and to create the changes you desire.
The most important thing to remember about visualization is that visualization is an action, not an idea. In other words, ideas can be powerful and influential; but action is what leads to successful change and improvement. Remember that visualization is just a tool that you can apply in your daily life to help you create new opportunities, get motivated, and overcome whatever challenges you may be facing.
Some people prefer to use visualization in conjunction with or instead of meditation. Visualization and meditation go hand in hand because the power of visualization is much greater when it is combined with meditation. Also, remember that using vision boards is just one tool that you can use to help you get inspired, motivated, and on track toward your goals.
When you create your vision board, think about everything that you want to change in your life and improve on things that you already know you need to improve on. Then, write down these things on a piece of paper. Make a big deal out of it, and share it with everyone you know. Then, invite each person to spend just fifteen minutes of their time every day working on their own vision board.
After a month of doing this, you will have a pretty good idea of where you are at in your life, as well as where you want to be. If you feel as though you haven’t changed much, then you know that you still need to do more to achieve your new life. By simply making your life better with a vision board and by working on it every single day, you will notice huge changes in your outlook and demeanor.