Would you like to think more visually?
Some people think in images.
They shape mental worlds at will.
Others can’t even imagine a blue sky.
When you read a novel, for instance, wouldn’t you want to immerse yourself into the story –as if you’re part of it? Like translating a one-dimensional universe into palpable landscapes and lifelike characters?
Again, some people visualize naturally. They do this intuitively. For the rest of us, we’ve got to settle for a less visual thinking mode.
But hey, we can do something about it. There’s a remedy for aphantasia (aka. inability to visualize).
You can go through some of my visualisation exercises here, or you can practice image streaming.
What Is Image Streaming?
Image streaming is an exercise where you observe your mental images and movies. While you explore the movies of your mind, you describe them out loud in maximum detail.
Initially, image streaming was invented to improve your ability to visualize. However, in the book “The Einstein Factor,” Win Wenger introduced image streaming as a means to raise your I.Q.
Some people claim you can use image streaming for healing aphantasia (a state of the mind where you can’t produce mental images at will).
Image streaming helps you to empower your visualisation skills while it improves your verbal fluency, and enables you to access your subconscious mind for problem-solving.
Whether this exercise makes you smarter or not, is questionable. What’s more important than a potential growth of your intelligence is that this technique dramatically develops your mind’s ability to form and control images at will.
Even if you’ve got a hard time imagining anything at all, you can learn image streaming. Practice increases your imagination, eloquence, and your creative thinking powers.
Image streaming is a technique to develop your visualization skill. If you cannot create any mental images at all, or you want to get better at it, then this technique is for you.
How To Do Image Streaming
Practicing image streaming is kinda like watching a movie with a blind friend.
While watching that movie, you’d tell him exactly what’s happening on the movie screen so that he too can experience as much as possible. The more information you can convey to him, the better his experience.
Let’s get into the practical steps now:
Step #1 – Preparation
Retreat to a place where you’ll be undisturbed for the next few minutes. Make yourself comfortable, lie down, and make sure you’ve turned off all devices that could distract you.
Set your timer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step #2 – Relaxation
Scan your body’s muscles for tension, relaxing them progressively. Start with your head, end with your feet.
Begin with all your facial muscles and the muscles in your scalp. Move your awareness down slowly, relaxing your neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, lower legs, and finish with your feet.
You should be done within four to five minutes.
Step #3 – Vocalizing Streams of Images
Once you’re fully relaxed, begin describing —out loud— what you observe on your mental movie screen. Verbalize without interruption and as detailed as possible whatever you see in your mind, even if it’s just some vague shapes or blotches of color.
As you describe the images of your mind, these images will grow in intensity, gain in color, and clarity. Your visual experience will flow much natural, become more vivid and more vibrant.
Many people start out seeing only vague shapes. If that’s what you see, start out describing these shapes and express any changes, transformations, happenings.
It’s like you’re the radio reporter, broadcasting an important sports match. Naturally, you want your audience to be able to grasp what you’re talking about fully.
Whatever happens, endeavor to go more and more into the details of what you perceive.
Keep talking. It happens, at times, that you’ll be at a loss for words. That’s okay. With practice, your verbal fluency will improve.
In his book “The Einstein Factor,” Win Wenger asks you to record your voice or have someone listen to you. I found this is not necessary, and you can simply skip that part.
Can You Do Image Streaming With Eyes Open?
Most people visualize best when they close their eyes. Yet, others find it easier to create images with eyes open.
If you’re not sure what’s easiest and most efficient for you, I recommend you try both till you know which way suits your best. When you stream with open eyes, you may want to darken your room so that you can relax without being distracted by anything in your field of vision.
What If You Don’t See Anything At All?
In case you don’t even see some vague images, here’s what you can do:
After-Image: Look at a candle (or any other not too bright light source). Stare at it for a few seconds and then close your eyes.
You’ll see an after-image of that light source. Begin describing that image and it’ll soon change and transform, grow in clarity.
Eye-Touch: Gently, I mean very gently, press with your fingertips onto your closed eyes. After a few seconds, you’ll perceive some color sensations. Remove your fingers from your eyes, and begin describing these color sensations.
Dream Recall: Recall a recent dream and begin describing that dream out loud. Keep describing and soon you’ll find images appearing on your mental movie screen.
Do You Need To Speak Out Loud?
To access sharper mind-imagery, you don’t need to verbalize what you see. Although it costs more discipline and may not increase your eloquence, you can just describe things with your mental voice.
You’ll find “silent image streaming” in particular useful to fall asleep at night.
With just a few minutes every day, you’ll soon improve your ability to imagine HD-like, colorful, crystal-clear images on your mind’s screen.
Has image streaming helped you? Please leave me your comment below.