What is ‘mental rehearsal’?

Mental rehearsal is basically where you rehearse something in your imagination, such as with hypnosis, guided imagery or Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). It’s where a practitioner guides your imagination and allows you to experience something, such as feeling relaxed around spiders or during flights, feeling confident in presentations or interviews, and of course, experiencing deep relaxation.

Creating mental muscle memory

In the dystopian sci-fi film, The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo, connects his mind up to a virtual reality simulator. Once the simulation is setup, he begins furiously sparring in a virtual dojo with his aide and mentor, Morpheus. When the simulation comes to an end, he awakes from the simulator and the first thing he says is, “I know Kung-fu”.

While the Matrix is of course, pure sci-fi, mental rehearsal, is not. When we have practiced something in our mind, it can be easier and more natural to do it in real life – because we create false memories of having done it; new neural pathways are created, and we develop a sort of mental ‘muscle memory’.

Below are some mental rehearsal sessions you might like to try:

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