Hi, I’m Carin Rockind. Welcome to PPN Bites, where we give you 60-second helpings of the positive psychology news you need to know. Last year during the Olympics, I watched the skiers bounce up and down before they actually went down the hill, and I realized what they were doing was visualizing their success. So I wondered, does this work, or is it just a bunch of secret positive thinking.
Well, research actually shows it does work. A meta-study of more than 36 studies showed that mental cognition towards a goal led to physical success. One study took athletes and actually had some of the athletes do physical training in their muscles, one had them visualize strengthening their muscles, and one was a control group. Well, those who did physical exercise had a 28% increase in their muscle strength. Those who just thought about it had a 24% increase. This is incredible, and the reason is that there is about an 88% overlap between what you think about and what you actually do or see.
So the next time you have a goal, visualize yourself not only achieving the goal, visualize yourself practicing, visualize the progress, and then you have a better chance of succeeding. We hope this helps you take a bite out of life and increase happiness. Bye for now.
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Shackell, E. M. and Stanking, L. G. (2007). Mind Over Matter: Mental Training Increases Physical Strength. North American Journal of Psychology, 9(1), pp. 189-200.
Kreiman, G., Koch, C, and Fried I. (2000). Imagery neurons in the human brain. Nature. 408(6810), pp. 357-61.