The Mental Practice Technique is where you visualize yourself performing a certain task in order to prepare yourself mentally. Used by many of the greatest athletes in the world, studies have shown that mental rehearsal helps build self-confidence, boost motivation, decrease anxiety, and increase concentration. Mental rehearsal, also called visualization, is a training technique used to create an experience in the mind, with the goal of improving physical skills through deliberate imagery of performing those actions.
A new study suggests that mental rehearsal–imagining yourself performing a routine, like competing in skiing–improves performance by conditioning your mind to perform. The technique of mental rehearsal can also be done to calm the nerves, to numb out specific emotions, and desensitize the self to specific negative or unexpected outcomes. By constantly repeating and mentally practicing, you are also anticipating what may come up and setting yourself up ahead of time. By repeating something in your head, unconsciously, you will pivot toward this intended result.
If your visualizations are leaving out many details, then you are more likely to simply visualize something, without training or conditioning your mind to do it. Because what you might be doing with visualization is picturing yourself up on the stage doing whatever it is that you are doing.
You might not be an athlete or soldier, but this same process can apply to just about anything that you do in your day-to-day life. Just as with practicing a sport or instrument, you cannot simply practice a few times and suddenly become great at it. Whether you are sitting around your house or you are actually performing a task, you can practice everywhere, anytime.
Whether you are practicing physically, performing or rehearsing it mentally, you will get plenty of benefits from this app. Many of us will probably never become legendary, and practicing in your mind is something that all musicians, no matter what your level, absolutely can benefit from. In other words, the data is mounting to show that mental practice, when done properly, absolutely makes all the difference in how you play. Researchers are finding increasing amounts of neurological and physiological evidence that supports what high-level athletes like basketball great Larry Bird, Olympic diver Greg Louganis, and golfer Tiger Woods have known for years: mental practice leads to real changes and palpable improvements in performance.
In an intriguing recent article for Forbes, Andrea Morris reviews groundbreaking neuroscience research at Stanford University showing how the mental execution of a task leads to actual learning and improvement in performance. Andrea Morris notes that the study has similarities with the method of mental rehearsal used in the field of performance psychology, in which visualizing an athletes performance may contribute to performance under live conditions. The results suggest that adding mental rehearsal to regular physical training can promote the acquisition of skills and increase the overall student achievement. Along those lines, our findings showed that performance of the experimental group on new skills was better.
A University of California study says that such practice works because mental practice and physical movements share the same neural regions. As far as patients are concerned, the value of mental rehearsals as far as aiding in the rehabilitation process, practicing different motor tasks in your mind before actual movement, may be beneficial too. Combining mental rehearsal with physical exercises may be a good alternative for situations in which costly equipment or processes cannot be used.
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