Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Age-Proofing Your Brain – Mental Picturing, 2

What is active mental picturing as compared to passive mental picturing? When you watch TV or a movie, your brain is processing something that another brain created—passively. Active mental picturing requires that the brain does the work itself. Your thoughts and words create a picture for your brain to follow—a map, as it were. Visualization can work as an extremely effective mind exercise. It is so powerful, in fact, that visualization is one of the three researched strategies that have been shown to enhance communication between the brain and the body (the other two strategies being affirmation and meditation). Without a defined target the mind’s energy can be wasted. Imagining something in your mind’s eye is essentially the same as perceiving it in the external world. Dr. Daniel Goleman explains this as mental rehearsal and wrote: “When we mentally rehearse an action—making a dry run of a talk we have to give, or envisioning the fine points of our golf swing—the same neurons activate in the premotor cortex as if we had uttered those words or made that swing. Simulating an act is, in the brain, the same as performing it, except that the actual execution is somehow blocked.”

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