A lot of people make a mistake of thinking that creative visualization and daydreaming are one and the same process, however, when you gain a better understanding of how your mind works, you realize that they are two entirely different things.
Daydreaming is a futile habit which just wastes a person’s time whereas visualization is a constructive process using which a person can communicate to their inner child i.e the subconscious mind in order achieve their goals in life as wells for their personal growth.
One more term that creates confusion is “imagination”, so first I would like to define what imagination is so that I could explain the difference between daydreaming and creative visualization better.
Imagination is the language of our mind. We process visual, auditory, written information in the form of images inside our heads before it becomes a memory and when we try to recall something the same mechanism follows, it happens on a very deeper level so we are not usually aware of it.
I would further like to clarify that “feelings” act on a more subtle level than the images, by being more aware of our feelings we can easily tap into the power of our subconscious mind, but for the sake of convenience, we will be assuming images as the primary language of our inner mind in this post.
If I say “bird” you immediately get an image of a bird in your mind, that’s imagination and you have no other way to interpret that word. You don’t see the alphabets B I R D and store it in your mind as it is, there is always an image associated with the information when you are trying to access it.
When you are reading a book, listening to some story or just thinking random thoughts, you are using your imagination.
Daydreaming and creative visualization both basically involves the use of imagination, but in the first case, our mind is using us whereas in the latter case we are using our mind.
Day Dreaming in Simple Words
I am going to explain this to you in a very simple language so that you could understand it easily and free yourself from this destructive habit.
Daydreaming is a random series of thoughts that takes up all your attention, this is often related to your fears and attachments. It is a hypnotic state where one plays various short movies repeatedly inside their head.
If you are careless towards your spiritual growth, then you might be totally unaware of the fact that you daydream frequently and there’s a high chance that you might be daydreaming a lot.
We all are daydreamers as our mind is always seeking opportunities to get us involved in the unwanted thinking, this is mostly related to something negative that happened in the past or something bad that can happen in the future.
Since daydreaming always causes you to escape the present moment, it makes you a prisoner of your own mind as Eckhart Tolle explains it in his book the power of now.
As I have said, we all are daydreaming most of the time unconsciously, whenever you find that you totally missed something that was happening right in your presence, you were daydreaming.
A common example of this is not listening to what someone is saying and being lost in one’s own thoughts, though later on our mind always joins the pieces of the puzzle to figure out what was happening.
Daydreaming never seems like a problem to people because it is a very common phenomenon, but a few moment of present moment awareness can change your life drastically.
Breaking the Prison
Doesn’t matter if you are thinking about something good or bad, if you have not intentionally chosen the thought then you are daydreaming.
I don’t mean we must care about every single thought here okay, we cannot keep an eye on every thought, we get more than 70,000 thoughts every day on an average.
As I have said most people are prisoners of their mind, it is okay to get lost in thoughts to an extent but when this crosses the limit, it can become a threat to a person’s peace of mind.
Daydreaming is a chain of thoughts, we can actually stop it if we could somehow become aware whenever it happens, what makes it even easier to discern such patterns is that it is usually a repeating one, you can also call it a mental addiction and we all have many.
I am not talking about those regular short lived thoughts that just come and go, I am talking about the thoughts that change our mood. Daydreamers are so attached
Daydreamers are so attached to these random thoughts that their mood is always controlled by these voices in their heads.
And such voices usually defines people’s identity, in other words, they are forming a self-image and there is nothing more destructive than an unhealthy self-image.
Such thoughts are also generated from deep rooted beliefs causing scarcity mindset, people get addicted to such way of thinking and it leads to the formation of the very dangerous victim persona which is one of the major causes of depression in the world today.
The only way to avoid daydreaming is to be more alert of your feelings because whenever your mind gets involved in negative thinking, your emotional response indicates that.
You cannot keep an eye on your mind activity but feelings can easily tell you when your thoughts are not pleasant. When you become conscious of this, half of the work is done.
I recommend you to try mindfulness exercises so that you could free yourself from this habit in order to become the master of your mind rather than being a slave to it.
Please note I am not asking you to control your thoughts here because there is nothing worse than being your own enemy, doing that will cause your own thoughts to work against you.
What I am saying is to not let your mind control you, there is a difference between trying to control your thoughts and not letting your thoughts control you.
Present moment awareness can help you escape this prison, but you should not fight with your thoughts.
How Visualization Differs from Daydreaming?
Visualization is pretty much similar to daydreaming, but here you do it purposefully and you control it with your intentions.
Well, it is not that simple as it sounds, from Lisa Nichol’s Creative Visualization course I learned that visualization lets us know our inner mind better.
You can change your feelings intentionally with the help of focusing on the visuals that represent your desires, it allows you to impress an idea on your powerful subconscious mind which can make any of your dream come true. This is why some people keep vision boards, it reminds them of this powerful tool.
Our current life is a result of the beliefs present in our inner mind, if you want to achieve any goal then you can only do it by clearing the limiting beliefs you have about that particular goal.
There are many ways to do this and creative visualization is one such effective technique because it helps you to change your life by releasing the negative beliefs.
3 Important Tips for Creative Visualization:-
- Imagination must always be done in the present moment because there is no past or future for the subconscious mind. Don’t visualize as if something is happening in the future but, see it happening right now. Nevillizing is one powerful method that is based on this principle.
- Emotionalize your visions by adding things that you love, make sure to do it as a fun-filled activity rather than like a task.
- Don’t get attached to what you have imagined, develop a strong faith in the higher power/universe and learn to let go.
If you feel like you can’t do visualization then I would like to remind you of what I said before, we all are already good at it and everyone is using it unknowingly.
Initially, it may be a little difficult to deliberately use your imagination because you are not aware of how to properly use visualization, to clear that doubt, you can read my post on the right way to visualize.
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