Why daydreaming and visualisation aren't the same thing
Posted on 30th May 2018 at 07:30
A couple of weeks ago we wrote about the mixed messages we send out every day without realising it. It’s led to some interesting discussions about how – exactly – do you get all your fruit in a row; particularly when it comes to imagining whatever it is in all its glory in your head. Is it simply a matter of daydreaming about it or is there more to it than that?
Well, as so often is the case, the answer is “yes” and “no”.
Daydreaming is all about distraction, regardless of where you happen to be at the time. You’re bored / tired / unmotivated / uncomfortable / fill in the blank and simply drift off into your own little fantasy world for a while. It’s a bit fuzzy round the edges and, while you know it’s not real, it feels good to be there. Often when you come back to the here and now – whether voluntarily or not (!) – it takes a few seconds for those warm fuzzy feelings to drift away and for you to re acclimatise.
By its very nature, daydreaming is very generalised. Non specific in a Pollyanna’ish “tra, la, la, la, la” sort of way. It can certainly help to raise your spirits – and point you in a more positive direction – but isn’t enough to make a real difference to your life.
Then there’s visualisation. Rather than being a distraction, it’s very focussed, specific and real. It’s about creating a detailed picture of exactly what you desire in your mind. Along with it come all the other sensations we’re used receiving to in our daily lives which add “colour” to the picture. Feelings, sounds, smells, touch and tastes. These help to make the picture very real and – here’s the crucial bit – we’re in the centre of it experiencing our desire in all its glorious detail. It’s as if it’s happening right now and brings feelings of joy, happiness, satisfaction and contentment.
Here’s a simple example to show the difference between daydreaming and visualisation. Say, you’re thinking about how nice it would be to eat a lovely, juicy peach. If you were daydreaming about it then your thoughts about it would be warm and fuzzy. It would feel good in a non specific way.
Visualising it would be completely different. You would be able to see the peach, pick it up and feel its velvety skin in your hand. Smell its ripeness, that first bite, the feeling of it in your mouth, the trickle of juice down your chin. You would know exactly where you were when you ate it and be able to see – and sense – your surroundings as you did so. It feels so real that it could almost have happened to you.
Can you see how different they are?
This is the reason why it’s so important that you know exactly what you desire before you do anything else. If you don’t, how on earth can you imagine what it would be like and so send out a consistent message about it?
The good news is that you’ve visualised thousands of times before without having realised it and still do so every day of your life. Nothing just happens, you have to think about it first; whether you’re aware of it or not. It’s a skill you already have, it’s just a case of doing it deliberately for something you desire.
Daydreaming can only ever be a good distraction, a way of raising your spirits when you’re fed up or bored. Visualisation moves it on a stage from wishful thinking to “Yes I really can imagine having it!”.
Visualisation is fun and easy to do. It brings whatever it is closer and sends out a clear message of what you desire.
However, as we’ve said before, just one word of warning. It can be just as easily be used to imagine the things you don’t desire.
And every time you’ve said “I knew that was going to happen” that’s exactly what you’ve done. Good or bad.
So, be careful what you think about – and wish for!
As always, the choice is yours.
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