I’m sure, you’re here because you can’t visualize.
And, I guess, you’ve already heard people saying, your mental blindness is called aphantasia. Furthermore, they say, you can’t do anything about it.
Or, can you?
Well, in my experience, learning to visualization (from scratch) is not impossible. All you’ve got to do is training your mind’s eye.
In this post, I’m giving you the right exercises to enable you to see mental images.
If you like to find out more, keep reading…
First, let me give you a quick intro about my story…
How I Discovered My Mental Blindness
I first realized I couldn’t create any mental images when read the classic Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
If you’ve read his book, you know he asks you to imagine your goals in your mind as clearly as possible. And, I was kinda taken aback because I couldn’t see a thing in my mind.
When I asked my friends about it, told me they can see whatever they want to imagine. Some of then in near photographic quality. They just assumed I’d know how to do this. Like walking or breathing.
As you’re likely in the same position as I was at that time, you know how confusing it is to hear that you lack an ability that everybody else takes for granted.
Seeing Mental Images For the First Time (After 30 Years!)
I didn’t want to accept the fact that I can’t do what so many take for granted. I wanted to follow all these life-changing exercises from the books I’ve read.
So, because I didn’t want to accept my fate, I did a lot of research on Google.
I’ve tried tons of different exerices, read a lot of articles and books.
In the beginning, I mostly stuck visualisation exercises that focus on creating a visual afterimage. Later I transitioned to routines to enhance image creation.
I think, it took me about 3 weeks to retain an afterimage. Still blurry, quickly fading.
Next, I could hold onto these afterimages and make small adjustments (like changing colors, size, and shape).
Finally, and this took me several months, I occasionally got moments of great visual clarity. And that enabled me to create my own images without requiring any afterimages to trigger my imagination.
Your Mind’s Eye is Like a Muscle
Because of my personal experience, I believe:
Aphantasia is the inability to see (and create) mental images because of an untrained mental muscle.
I assume, people who are natural visualizers have been using this ability intuitively since childhood. They’ve been practicing and nurturing this skill naturally. For them it’s always been “normal.”
For us, for some reason, we didn’t visualise naturally. We need locate that muscle and strengthen it voluntarily.
Just like going to the gym, it’ll take considerable time and dedication to build a strong physique.
Now, before we get into the “how-to part”… Let’s quickly talk about why you would want to visualize.
What can you get out of it? What can you do with it?
Why Do You Want to Learn Visualization?
Here’s a short list what you can do with the power of visualization:
- Create Your Memory-Palace: Create your memory-palace and store a vast amount of information in it.
- Reach Your Goals: You’ve read books that tell you to visualize your goals vividly… as if having achieved them already. If can you get you mind-muscle back in shape you’ll finally be able to see yourself being as successful as you want to be!
- Peak Performance in Sports: Everyone knows that pro-golfers, pro-basketball players, athletes, etc. rehearse their ideal sports performance and even entire games on a mental stage. This is proven to be a crucial factor in the careers of these high-performance people.
- Perfect Speeches & Presentations: You can practice speeches, interviews, conversations, social interactions right in your head prior to your actual performance. Doing so is proven to improve your final results drastically (introduced by Maxwell Maltz in his life-transforming bestseller called Psycho Cybernetics [Amazon link].)
- Meditate and Visit Your Sanctuary: Of course, visualization is a powerful tool for meditation and to relaxation. For instance, you can take a walk in your mental sanctuary or relax on your dream beach.
- Induce Lucid Dreams: You can induce thrilling night adventures via lucid dreaming with Dr. Stephen La Berge’s MILD method (Explained in his book “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” [Amazon link]). If you’ve never experienced a lucid dream, you’re missing out on one of the most rewarding experiences in your life.
- Start Good Habits, Break Bad Habits: With the power of visualization you can change your habits. Start new habits, break bad habits.
In a nutshell, you can apply visualization all areas of your life.
Now, let’s finally proceed….
Principles of Visualization
for Maximum Sucess
For the best results, whenever you attempt to cure aphantasia or access mental imagery in general, adhere to the following principles…
Critical to open your mind’s eye is deep relaxation. Before you practice, at the very least, do an instant body scan. Take a deep breath and release any muscular tension. Let your heart-rate and breathing slow down, and your blood pressure decrease.
Many people strain their eyes when trying to visualize. Make sure to keep the muscles that control your eyes, your eyelids, and all surrounding facial muscles entirely relaxed at all times.
Eyes Opened & Eyes Closed
Practice with eyes opened. Practice with your eyes closed. Test both variations frequently. Especially in the beginning, you may find it easier to keep your eyes opened.
At all times, if you can do so, maintain a playful attitude. As it is with learning anything else, trying too hard and keeping it too serious can stunt your progress.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
Don’t just do what you read here. You came up with new ideas? Found a different aphantasia cure? Good. Give it a try. Visualization is elusive, and everybody is different. So, if you find you get better results using a different approach, please keep at it. (And please let me know all about it in the comments.)
Practice periodically during your day. People who visualize naturally, exercise their imagination-muscle routinely during all kinds of activities. We want to emulate that by frequently stimulating that muscle, titillating it to grow. You’re waiting in line? Try visualizing something. Are you riding on a train? Practice. You’re at work taking a sip of coffee? Well, you get the idea.
Sense, Touch, and Feel
While you may not be able to see things straight away, you may find you can sense, touch, and feel them. Whatever it is you want to visualize, make an effort to involve your mental hands, your imaginary feet, and all body parts. Run your fingertips over surfaces, squeeze things, stomp your foot onto the ground, dig your nose into objects, etc. In fact, engage all your senses.
In order to call up a mental image, we first need to know how it looks like. The more familiar we’re with its precise appearance, the more details we can recall. Practically, before you practice visualizing, say, a glass, carefully observe all its aspects. The reflections of light, shapes, angles, colors, textures, spacial relationship to objects in proximity, and so on. Also, grab that glass, feel its weight, roll it between your hands, and so on. Stronger mental impressions lead to more explicit mental representations.
Leading with Mental “Ideas”
Forget about seeing images once in a while. Just think about the idea of how something would look like.
I mean, if I’d ask you about how your house entrance looks like… could you give me the visual details about it? Sure, you could! (Try it now.)
What’s the color of your door? Keep your eyes open as if you’re daydreaming and let your mind wander over its entire surface for a minute. Are there any small details on it? Like a nameplate or some decoration? Can you describe it? Can you somehow sense its appearance?
This is your mind’s eye at work. Even though you might not see your entrance like a mental photograph yet, you form an idea-construct of it.
When we fix our physical eyes perfectly on one tiny detail, surroundings fade from our view. The same can happen with our mental eyes. When you practice, try moving your mental focus around. E.g., when you visualize a dice, trace its contours continuously keeping your focus in motion.
4 Exercises To Learn Visualization
Before you get started…
Please keep in mind – you’ll need patience. Likely, you won’t get results right away. But, if you stick to daily practice sessions, dedicate a few minutes each day, you’ll be greatly rewarded with new and beautiful skill.
Exercise #1 – Candle Visualization
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this exercise. This is a great foundation training to perceive afterimages in your mind’s eye.
Let’s get started:
- Light a candle and take a seat in a comfortable chair about 3 feet in front of it.
- Observe the candle’s flame calmly, with mild eyes for 5-10 seconds. Ask yourself a few questions about it:”Which colors do I see? What is its shape like? Does it move, or does it make a sound?”Answer these questions internally and in silence.
- Next, shut your eyes. Make sure you keep your eyelids calm and relaxed. Unwrinkle your brow. Scan your eyes and make sure you release any tension.Now, do you “see” an after-image? Even if it’s fading instantly, fact is, you will be able to see something. Maybe it’s just blurry light or, even better, you actually see the shape of the flame.
- Observe this mental shadow-image and keep it up as long as you can until it fades completely.Don’t strain. Keep it easy. Stay relaxed.
- Wait. Before you open your eyes again: Try to recall the image by thinking of all its details. Recall and internally describe the colors, and the shape etc.The more details you can recall the better. Be very specific. Imagine you’d need to describe (from memory) the flame to an artist. He wants to paint it for you but relies on your observations alone. The more information you can feed to him, the better he’ll be able to paint the candle.By doing this you strengthen recall ability and you signal to your mind that you want to focus on these specifics.
- Okay, open your eyes and repeat the process a few times. Commit more details to memory.Do this for max. 5 minutes. And again, stay relaxed at all times.
Practice this daily and your visualization skill will improve bit by bit.
Exercise #2 – Visualize Solid Colors
Some people can only see specific colors. Others can only see grey shades. Many of us can only see pure blackness. This exercise will help you to picture colors.
- Get yourself a few colored surfaces. A book cover will do or you can use the images below.
- Observe your chosen color carefully and then try to imagine it in your mind. You don’t need to see any outlines. Just focus on capturing the color.
- Repeat this with different colors and different shades.
Exercise #3 – Geometric Shapes
This exercise will help you imagine details of your images. Like the contours of a cube.
- Grab a piece of paper and draw a basic geometric shape on it. Say, for example, a triangle or a circle.No need to make it perfect. (You can also use the shapes I uploaded for you below.)
- Now, observe that shape calmly for a moment. Slowly follow its contours once. Think of carefully retracing its contours with a pencil.Then choose a single small detail of this shape. This could be a corner or a small section of a line. Calmly observe this area. Again, think of retracing this particular part a few times.
- Close your eyes. Make sure your face, your eye lids, the area around your eyes is relaxed.Try replicating the object on your inner screen. Start with a tiny part of it. The part you previously carefully observed. Think of redrawing the shape with that imaginary pencil.Try holding out your finger and slowly draw the shape into the air in front of you (with eyes closed).This is critical now; If you don’t see anything, explain to yourself — in your mind — like, “I see the top edge of the triangle. It points upwards. It’s black. The background is white.” Be very detailed!
- Open your eyes, soak up more details of the shape. Be on the lookout for new details, rediscover old details. Keep retracing the shape with your mental pencil.
- Close your eyes again and bring your mental image closer to the “original” one. If you still see only blackness, keep on describing all the details. Describe to yourself what you should see. The more the better. Also, use your finger to draw into the air.
- Repeat this exercise over and over again… until you can reproduce the shape clearly.You will, sooner or later, if you keep at it. The most important thing is to discover and rediscover all details. The more details you can perceive the more information you feed to your brain the more you will be able to recreate mentally.
- Once you’re able to deal with simple shapes, try this exercise with a more complex shape (like a star or a letter of the alphabet.)
You can also download all these shapes to your computer here (packed into a rar-file).
Exercise #4 – Guided Visualizations
Guided visulizations are fantastic to get into deep relaxation and to access your imagination.
I’ve probably tested hundreds of guided meditations and found that these two guys on YouTube stand head and shoulders above the rest: The Honest Guys.
The Honest Guys produce marvelous videos and they’re completeley free.
Here’s what I recommend to you as an exercise:
- Pick one guided visualization video and listen to it at least 3 times a week. This is perfect as a catnap to recharge your batteries.
- Which each session attempt to access your imagination seeing the visuals described in the audio.
Listen to these videos over and over again. In each session, try gaining clarity by mentally filling in missing details. Soon you’ll be able to lighten up your mental theater.
Here’s one of my favortie videos. I hope you’ll like it too:
If you don’t have an adblocker, I highly recommend you install “uBlock Origin” to your browser. That way, your sessions won’t get interrupted by annoying ads.
By the way, you don’t need to watch these videos on YouTube. In fact, the easiest way to practice with these videos is to download the audios and listen to them on your phone or MP3 player.
How to Improve Visualization with Self-Hypnosis For $14,95
Did you know that you can get better at visualising with self-hypnosis?
I’ve discovered this while doing some research on “mind’s eye training” and “aphantasia”. It turns out, there’s this hypnotherapist called Mark Tyrell and he’s recorded this professional hypnosis session specifically designed to improve visualization.
When you listen to Mark’s hypnosis audio (it’s 30:50 min. long), you’ll be transported into a state of deep relaxation. You’re like floating on a cloud when he strengthens the part of your brain that naturally creates images when you dream.
So, if you’ve tried everything else and you don’t know where else to look for a solution, go to their website and read the full description. Maybe, this is exactly what you need. Click on this link here:
Btw., (and you haven’t heard this from me!) you can use and listen to their full hypnosis for 90 days, and then just refund it to get your cash back –they won’t even ask you for any reasons.
Pick One or Two Methods And Stick With It. Daily. For 31 Days.
I would love to hear from you and your progress. I personally know that this is frustrating but it’s merely a matter of endurance and persistent practice.
Don’t give up on it and keep at it. Learn how to visualize. Yes, it may take you several months to get better, but then, this is extraordinarily valuable skill you’ll be able to benefit from all your life.
Now, I’d Like To Hear From YOU:
- What’s your greatest challenge with visualization?
- Why do you want to learn it? How do you want to apply it?
- Do you have any questions at all? Please comment below.
Then, someone in the comments asked me about it, …
I Have To Ask You For A Small Favor.
If you followed my exercises and you made any progress at all… Would you please leave me a comment about your exact experience? Where did you start from? How did you improve? What exactly happened to your imagination?
Why? You know, people reading that you’re curing aphantasia will get excited and encouraged to follow your footsteps. They’ll know, if you can do it, they can do it too.
So, please send me an email or leave me a comment on this post. And, if you allow me so, I’d like to garner your reports and put them together into a dedicated “success post”.
Thank you for reading.