Welcome to episode 12 of The Better Self Show! For today we will talk about a very important topic for life that I discovered when I started studying neuroscience, which is the power of imagination.
Whether consciously or unconsciously we are using imagination all the time. Foreseeing what could happen in the future, thinking about anything that happened in the past, dreaming, putting ourselves in different situations with imagination…
It is good to remember, in case you haven’t heard the podcast, how powerful the brain is. You know, everything happens in the brain. When you move a finger it is because your brain sends a signal to your body to move it. When you breath or when your heart beats are also signals from the brain even if we do them unconsciously.
The power of imagination in neuroscience
Imagination is very powerful because it can produce close to the same sensations as in ‘real life situations’. It also generates neurotransmitters and other ‘chemicals’ that can make us feel as if we were living that certain situation.
I first learned about the power of imagination when I did a course on neuroscience. The ‘teacher’ or doctor who was working at a hospital in Seville told us a case study she did in her hospital. But first I must tell you that this story comes from my memory, I don’t exactly remember all details or have all facts on my hands. So you are free to believe it or not 🙂
A case study
She told us that there was a man who had an accident and his leg got severely damaged, so they had to cut it. When he went to rehab they tried a different approach using neuroscience, meditation, hypnosis and imagination as well as tracking the different muscle movements and brain signals.
So they would invite him to enter a ‘state of imagination’ bringing different situations, for example. Imagine you are in the jungle and you suddenly see a tiger and you run from it as far as possible… Or imagine that you are running a marathon and when you see the finish line you start running faster… And many other of those ‘imaginative’ situations.
After the study they found out that using imagination could be as powerful as living the ‘real life situations’. When he was thinking we has running the marathon, the sensors in his legs showed a great deal of activity. And the same with the other activities probing that using the power of imagination can be as strong as reality sometimes.
When I learned about this example I went crazy because it made a lot of sense to me, and with years it becomes even more clear nowadays. If you’ve listened to the show you may know how passionate I am about imagination and about the placebo, which I hope to talk about it soon!
Imagination and visualization for entrepreneurs
If you are into the world of ‘entrepreneurs’ and have heard or read a couple of them you may have heard about the concept of visualization and how some of them use it on a daily basis. Well, after the case study above it becomes clear that doing this technique can be very powerful.
It is as simple as imagining yourself in the future accomplishing a dear goal you may have. In my case, I sometimes imagine being successful with this project. Doing hundreds of episodes, having coaching sessions every week and even attending to conferences.. I know a bit ambitious but it certainly rises a lot of energy inside me that helps me to keep going with this dream.
The law of attraction
Imagination is widely used in the law of attraction or quantum physics. My goal here is not really to go deep into the law of attraction so if you are really interested in me talking about this topic you can get let me know!
There is a very famous book called The Secret where they showcase different stories of people using the law of attraction and imagination to think about a dream they want to accomplish everyday and for many of them ends up happening. There is also a documentary about this book really cool in netflix I believe also called The Secret.
The point I’m trying to make here is not whether ‘The Secret’ or the law of attraction are true, but to say that using imagination is really powerful and that it definitely generates ‘good’ neurochemicals by putting one’s self in a beautiful situation as making a dream come true.
The Placebo and Logotherapy
Inside the episode I give an introduction on both of these topics independently, The placebo and Logotherapy. If you want to hear the introduction I encourage you to listen to the episode. In both topics imagination is a key component for them to be true. I really hope that I can make independent episodes to just talk about these topics soon enough.. but in case you are interested in any of them and you let me know it would be cool and give me even more motivation to talk about them 🙂
A personal story…
Inside the episode I share my personal story of how I became vegetarian and how the power of imagination brought me there. I also share how I have done ‘imagination’ exercises with coaching clients and how it can bring many insights like ‘the empty chair’ exercise.
“Whatever you do in the physical world world if you don’t back it up with thoughts you’re just never gonna get there”
This quote is something I said inside the episode when I shared my personal story and I really liked it.
Anyways, I just want to thank you for being there reading or listening to the episode. Hope that you enjoyed and that it brought some value in whatever shape or form. And to remind you that you can support the show to help me to keep on doing more episodes and believing in this project in any way you can think of.
If you feel curious about the power of imagination and want to experience yourself you can book a coaching session with me.
Thank you again for being there, and hope to see you in episode 12!