Our imagination has healing power. Although we can’t know the future, we often imagine disaster ahead. A loved one is late returning from a trip so in our mind we picture an accident and we worry and fret. In our imagination we anticipate the worst possible outcome. Our mental images are like a dress rehearsal for how we then feel and act.
“Fantasies” often come unbidden. We have to learn to notice them and stop them. When we realize we’re fanaticizing we can replace the negative image with a positive one. Cancer survivors use this method to imagine the chemotherapy eating up cancer cells.
Many athletes today use mental imagery or mental pictures to improve their performance. A stunning experiment was done which showed the effects of mental practice. One group practiced throwing basketball free throws every day for 20 days and improved in scoring 24 percent. A control group did no practice at all for 20 days and did not improve. A third group spent 20 minutes a day imagining they were throwing the ball in the basket and their scoring improved 23 percent!
Monitor your mind for negative images and change these to positive ones. For example, if you picture someone who is sick getting worse. Stop this image and replace it with a picture of the person as healthy. Take time to pray and meditate every day so you can fill your mind with positive thoughts and images.
“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue or if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJ