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Well, imagine that!

Use your imagination: like any tool, it is up to us how we choose to use imagination

You’ve heard of the British nation and the French nation? Well, this is the Imagination and, once you get there, you can do almost anything you want,” wrote Valentine Davies in Miracle On 34th Street.

Imagination is something we praise or scold depending on what it’s producing.

We often tend to sideline it to the stuff of child’s play or “creative types”, but it’s an ability we are all gifted with throughout our lives. Perhaps we don’t realise the power of the underrated tool our imagination truly is — a connection to our most dreaded fears and our deepest desires.

Perhaps you have heard it said that the most important sexual organ is the mind.

One relationship expert, highlighting the benefits of written communication to enhance intimacy when couples are apart, said the most seductive word when “sexting” or sending risqué e-mails to entice your partner, is ‘imagine’. (I bet this is one tip you’ll all use before the week is out.)

Whatever provocative suggestion follows is apparently not as important.

What is, is engaging your partner’s imagination and connecting them to their main sex organ — their mind — so they can tap into their fantasies, shifting into a sexual mindset.

Simple imaginings can render strong emotional and even physiological responses. What we picture in our minds can feel real.

Have you ever woken from a bad dream unable to shake the unpleasant feelings caused by a story your brain made up? Negative thoughts and imaginings create physical stress reactions. Imagine what are we doing to ourselves when we let our imaginations run away with our fears.

Many of us are experts at “catastrophising”: picturing worst-case scenarios, letting our imaginations run through all the bad things that could possibly happen.

In reality, however, all those negative things we think up rarely actually come true. Yet, the power of imagination is strong enough that just in imagining them, we end up experiencing the related anxiety/angst/dread/fear. We put ourselves through the pain of things that may never happen. And, if they do, then we have to endure the pain twice — first imagining it, then actually living it.

Like any tool, it is up to us how we choose to use imagination.

We can harness that power to benefit us in achieving our goals and personal growth.

We can use it to positively affect mood and feelings. And, just like we do with our negative projections, we can set ourselves up for success by imagining good things that can happen.

Athletes have long used the power of imagination and visualisation to improve their game. In neuro-linguistic programming there’s a term, “future pacing”. It involves running through, in your mind, your strategy for a particular goal, imagining yourself going through the various steps. By doing so, these steps then feel more real to us, more achievable. And, as our imaginations are good at pointing out any potential hurdles, we can be prepared in advance.

Some people practise future pacing their day, taking a minute in the morning to visualise themselves completing all they set out to accomplish.

We all have a powerful tool at our disposal, and we are never too old to start using it wisely. Happy imagining!

Julia Pitt is a trained success coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on 705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com.