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Imagine That!
Imagine That!    [

I read with interest the article in the May Newsletter about ways to stop thinking negatively. It contained some good suggestions and here are a couple of my own.

Use your imagination: Negative thinking can become a habit and like any other bad habit can be very hard to break. One suggestion would be to stimulate your imagination more often. As with anything you do, the more you practice, the more skilled you become.

There are various ways of stimulating your imagination. Reading is one excellent example you bring the words to life in your head as you read.

Having an active imagination can be quite useful when you are feeling negative or in low spirits. If you can at least try to imagine feeling better then there is surely more chance of it actually happening. I wouldn't dare suggest that this is always an easy thing to do. You might say an optimist is someone who generally tends to imagine things will turn out for the better whereas a pessimist tends to do the reverse.

Some relaxation techniques and some forms of meditation teach people to use their imaginations. For example, you might visualise a blank sheet of paper in your head, or imagine yourself floating like a feather. The possibilities are literally endless. Wander into any book store or library and you'll find cassettes and books which go into far more detail about these various ideas and techniques. You might find something that appeals to you.

We grow accustomed to the things around us that we see every day and take them for granted. I like to try to imagine things from the perspective of a visitor from another planet. This visitor would have many questions about how our society works, our machines, our laws and why people do the things they do. (well that's an entire subject all on its own!). You might like to try to imagine things from another perspective than your own.

Most arts & crafts exercise the imagination and also produce tangible results. Songs & music are also examples of the creative power of people's imaginations. Books are further examples of imagination at work. The author creates the characters, personalities and action that takes place in the book.

If you spend any time around young children you'd see they have very active imaginations. It seems a pity that people tend to use their imagination less often as they "grow up" and become "responsible adults". .. continues on Page 2

Many sportsmen use visualisation techniques to improve their motivation and performance. You might visualise yourself playing effortlessly & timing the ball smoothly. The weekly footy results show what a big factor confidence can be. Teams can look fabulous one week and flop the next.

Top sportsmen refer to being in "The Zone". I'm not sure if this is a reference to the old TV show Twilight Zone. I have experienced this myself when I used to play pennant squash. I remember one night in particular. From our warm ups, I fully expected a tough encounter as my opponent seemed quite talented. Plus I was a notoriously slow starter in my matches. However, this night I played my brains out. I was generating power without effort and timing the ball perfectly. What is more, I was changing the dire ction of my strokes very late. A good player will anticipate where you are likely to hit your shot, so if you continually change the direction he will be left bamboozled and rather perplexed. On this night, I was changing the direction so late that I even surprised myself, whilst still hitting every shot in the middle of the strings. My team mates were stunned as this was far above my usual level of performance. The Zone can be a very elusive and tantalising experience. Once you have experienced being in th e zone you naturally want more of it.

I have found the idea of "the zone" to be quite useful for other activities and pursuits. I would imagine that way back in the days before TV and so much ready-made "entertainment" people used these techniques or something similar to create their own amusement.

Learn something new: Learning stimulates the brain and can shift your focus away from negative thoughts. This does not have to be "education" in the formal sense you can learn by reading an interesting book or by talking to people or even by watching a documentary on some subject you may not know a lot about.

You might like to imagine your brain is like an office. Imagine your memory is like a filing cabinet. Imagine these filing cabinets contain details of everything you have ever learnt, everything you have heard, everything you have experienced.

That would be an enormous amount of information stored away! Some people say that it is possible in theory to recall any or all of this information. I'm not sure if this is true but it is an interesting possibility.

As with anything in life, what works for some won't work for others. You have to find what works best for your particular personality. In the film Life of Brian, someone said "You're all individuals. You've got to work it out for yourselves". The worst thing you can do is give up the search. You might find useful ideas in the most unexpected of places. I know I have. Good Luck.


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