Tools for Living - Mental Rehearsing

Mental Rehearsing
Mental Rehearsing is practicing in your mind ahead of time, being in a challenging situation. Our minds and bodies are one system, so your mind can help you behave or act a certain way.

Athletes, actors, musicians, artists, public speakers and salesman use mental rehearsing all the time. In fact, you probably do too, when you think about and rehearse what you'll say before making a tough phone call, or having a difficult discussion.

You can use Mental Rehearsing to:
  • Develop healthy new behaviors.
  • Deal with situations you know will be difficult.
  • Visualize living at your weight goal.
How Robin Used Mental Rehearsing
Whenever Robin would go to a restaurant, she'd make a mental strategy: She'd imagine herself looking for menu items that fit her plan, and asking the server to substitute foods that didn't. She'd even rehearse her conversations with the server and with friends and family who might ask her about the plan.

Mental Rehearsing You
Think about how you would rehearse mentally in preparation for an event that you expect will be hard on you.

1. Identify the situation.
Decide that you want to respond to it in a more resourceful way than you have in the past.

2. Imagine yourself in the situation.
Watch yourself as if you were in a movie. Ask yourself the following questions, so you can create a specific situation in your head.
  • Where are you?
  • What are you saying?
  • What are you doing?
  • How are you doing it?

3. Rehearse your desired response.
Now step into the movie and practice responding the way the new you wants to respond. See what you will do, hear what you will say, feel what you will feel when you encounter the actual situation.

4. Repeat.
Do this this several times before the event.
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