…YOUR IMAGINATION IS NOT JUST MAKE BELIEVE
Learning how to use your imagination correctly and effectively is vital to overcome stress and worry. You will find that your imagination holds the key to overcoming challenges in day to day living as well as sports. This is a segment taken from the book Panic Attacks Calming the Storm. While involved in college gymnastics, the author, Brian Ludwig, first discovered which became a foundation upon which to springboard to success.
Let me explain.
When a gymnast would receive an injury that prevented them from physically being able to practice, they would quickly lose ground and be less competitive. We adopted a technique of going through gymnastics skills and routines in the gymnast’s mind, using their imagination. They would sit and, in their mind’s eye, visualize their routines in detail. It is amazing the benefit this technique had on increasing the skills of the gymnast, even without physically performing the routines and skills. I had no idea that, years later, I would now be adopting the benefits that I had previously learned about the imagination.
It has been proven and widely accepted that when the imagination is used effectively and with enough repetition, the body loses the ability to discern whether the action took place or was just perceived in the imagination.
This is very important, so try to follow closely. When people employ the use of their imagination, it can either be very beneficial or very harmful.
In my case, without knowing it, in my attempts to be responsible, I would allow my imagination to continuously go to the worst-case scenario so that I could be prepared to deal with situations correctly; that is if these catastrophes ever happened. It sounds so innocent and harmless. This was the incorrect use of my imagination that would be the driving force to indulging in the use of speculation.
Do you see what was happening to me? I would allow and even prompt my imagination to continuously embrace and meditate on the worst-case scenarios. Wow, it is no wonder that my thoughts would continually go to and live in places that the thoughts other people had would never even stop off for a quick visit.
This was such a huge revelation for me. Every time I entertained a possibility, my imagination was fully prepared to explore the most bizarre, potentially devastating outcomes. Do you see why the onset of my panic attacks found me prepared to be such an excellent victim? On the surface, I was not a negative, doom and gloom type of person, but residing inside my mind was a monster that I allowed to be created. I provided all the fuel that a panic attack would ever need to burn. All that had to happen was the introduction of the first spark and we were off to the races. My mind was like a well-iced sledding path that allowed thoughts to race and encounter extremes.
This was the missing link that I had been searching for. Like I told you before, I always noticed that my friends would not entertain thoughts that I entertained. They were not great maintainers, but most of them had no trouble navigating through life. Sure, maybe they were oblivious, but they also never experienced the torment that I was susceptible to.
And what about all those other people who are victims of panic attacks. They surely don’t all become vulnerable through the path of being an obsessive maintainer. No, as I sought for the common denominator, I determined that the imagination was a key proponent, but what a person chose to meditate on would be the deciding factor.
Statistics show us that people entertain anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. Remember, we went over the numbers that show that the bulk of many people’s thoughts are negative and are repetitive.
The more I correctly applied my imagination, the more I came to realize that my mind, and even my body, were beginning to benefit greatly from the activity that I was engaging in. Without realizing it, by meditating on the Word of God and through spending my time engaging in the use of my imagination to dwell on very enjoyable, positive scenarios, I found that my body was becoming much more relaxed and less susceptible to nerve sensitization. And get this: the more I pursued intentionally choosing my thoughts and what to meditate on, the more I found that my body became much more resistant to the harmful release of adrenaline. Talk about a breakthrough!
My thoughts were no longer forced to travel along a predetermined path at a high, uncontrollable speed, like our carefully iced sledding run. Even though, at this point in the storyline, I wasn’t completely out of the woods concerning panic attacks, I found myself obtaining a type of mental freedom that I had not experienced since the onset of the first panic attack in 1992.
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