At its core, visualization is the practice of engaging all five senses—not just sight!—to imagine a positive outcome. It can be done in tandem with other manifestation practices like vision boarding and journaling. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t consider yourself a visual person; you can still visualize.
And according to hypnotherapist and visualization expert Jane Ehrman, MEd, CHES, all you need to get started is a few uninterrupted minutes and a space that won’t distract you. “You want to make enough time to quiet yourself because it’s about shifting your focus from the thinking part of your mind, to the creative, imaginative part—and that’s in your subconscious,” she says. This means that it’s not a bad idea to meditate before dropping into your visualization.
When we visualize, Ehrman says it lights up our neuromuscular pathways, which connect our brain to our muscles. You know how your body tenses up when you imagine something upsetting or anxiety-inducing? That’s the mind-body connection at work—and we can use it to our advantage. While visualizing something won’t automatically make it come true, it can help your brain start to register what it feels like to have that thing.
Here’s a primer on four popular visualization techniques: Try them all out and see which one works best for you.