Does the Thought of a Warm, Yummy Piece of Apple Pie Make You Hungry? Using the Power of Our Imagination
A couple of the women at my yoga class this past week were talking about making apple pie and their favorite recipes. As they described the smell and taste, I jokingly said, “Stop! You’re making me hungry.” I noticed that my mouth was watering and that I was craving a warm piece of apple pie.
Our imaginations are amazingly powerful! Here’s another example.
Have you ever heard a strange sound in the middle of the night? Our brains instantly try to figure out what it is. Could it be the cat? No. Maybe it’s some burglar at the window? Hmmm. If we start thinking it’s possible, our brain tells our body to get ready for danger. Our heart races and we’re wide awake.
Our brains are not good at differentiating between what’s real and what we imagine. If we think about something, like our favorite food, our brain and the rest of our body react as if it’s really happening. This can be a problem if we use our imagination to anticipate the worst, but it can also be a great tool if we visualize good things.
How can we take advantage of this fascinating phenomenon? Here are three ideas to get you started.
- Imagine finishing a project or succeeding at a goal. Really focus on the great feeling of accomplishment. This can provide more motivation and energy to get it done.
- Imagine an upcoming situation that you anticipate will be challenging (ex. a meeting or conversation). Now imagine that it goes very well. You stay calm and say things that are helpful. This can help you be mentally prepared for a potentially difficult interaction.
- Imagine you’re at your very best today. You’re feeling good and able to be extra patient, motivated, focused, or whatever would be helpful for today. It’s much easier to make it happen now that your brain thinks it’s true.
Give it a try today. Using your imagination can be a great way to gain a positive edge 🙂