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TOPIC: How do you do visualization exercise if you can't?

How do you do visualization exercise if you can't? 1 year 11 months ago #2183

  • jennmanski
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Like doing "positive thinking" exercises where they tell you to visualize yourself doing something (whether it be a job interview and you imagine yourself going through the entire thing or imagine yourself walking through your dream home, etc). If you can't visualize anything, how can you do something like this effectively? I've always tried to think my way through these types of things and I try so hard to see them (I even tried those relaxation tapes where you're supposed to picture yourself walking through a forest into a clearing....) but my mind tends to drift. I wonder if I can't keep my mind on the positive thinking thing because I'm trying so hard to actually visualize it that my mind "gives up". I've asked people for years if they could actually see what they are thinking of and I've never had anyone say no, so I always thought I was just doing it wrong. I dream vividly...I can tell you the colors of the flowers on the wallpaper in a house I dreamt about but I can only see it when I'm dreaming.
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How do you do visualization exercise if you can't? 1 year 11 months ago #2213

  • evk
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Yeah, visualization doesn't help much if you can't do it. That's one reason that the knowledge about aphantasia is important. At least for us who have it. It may still be frustrating, but at least you understand what the problem is.
- We are all aphantastic!
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How do you do visualization exercise if you can't? 1 year 1 month ago #4566

  • Blackstage
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Right on. Thinking one's way through again doesn't allow one to relax the conscious mind and reach a state of relaxation - just the opposite! I have had some success in the past with meditations when I sort of allowed myself let go of the frustration of not seeing and allowed myself to just try to pinpoint my feelings. NOT what I smell, touch, feel or hear, but a general anything and everything of what I SENSE. So everything I sensed sort of gave me a 'belief' in 'going along with the story' even though it might be sort of a dumb story, I knew the idea was to help me relax, so I would have to somehow open myself to it even without pictures or it would be a total waste of time. Focusing on breathing techniques was usually a good practice for me - especially since I could actually HEAR my own breathing, which linked me to myself physically somehow and did not let me disappear into some kind of fantasy non-existent landscape!

I too have vivid dreams with details like the flowers on the wallpaper: my theory is that those with aphantasia sometimes (unconsciously?) overcompensate with all kinds of (extraneous?) details, which they then remember as if their lives depended on those details. Maybe they do sometimes.
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How do you do visualization exercise if you can't? 6 months 1 week ago #10502

  • 杜明雪_85
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Before I learnt about aphantasia, I always thought these exercises were scams, and those who believed them were fooled.
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How do you do visualization exercise if you can't? 5 months 3 weeks ago #39254

  • bikersurfer
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I worked in aerospace for almost 30 years, and during that time was involved in many exercises in one form of training or another where we were told to visualize this or that. I assumed it was simply an exercise of description, and not actually seeing the intended object/scenario which I obviously could not do.

This was when the whole notion and concept of aphantasia became real to me, when I realized that other people actually could conjure pictures in their minds, and I simply lacked that ability. It explained a lot, although I didn't gain the knowledge until after I retired.
Last Edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by bikersurfer. Reason: Additional notion.
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