In Creative Visualization Exercises

Mental imagery and the Tetris effect – exercise to develop visualization skill

Spray painted image of tetris blocks

Thanks to -Bert23-

People often say that it’s difficult to create clear mental images. I would agree with them. If you’re not in the right state of mind, visualization can be tough.

Fortunately there are many things you can do to get in the proper mental state for visualizing. Meditation and guided imagery are examples of pre-visualization mental exercises.

But what does Tetris have to do with any of this?

We’re going to use the Tetris effect to gain an understanding of and experience mental imagery.

You may have heard of the Tetris affect, or experienced it yourself.

Wikipedia describes the Tetris effect as:

The Tetris effect occurs when people devote sufficient time and attention to an activity that it begins to overshadow their thoughts, mental images, and dreams. They might also dream about falling Tetris shapes when drifting off to sleep or see images of falling Tetris shapes at the edges of their visual fields or when they close their eyes.

Tetris can act as an alternative to meditation or guided imagery – at least for the sake of creating mental imagery. You’ll notice that as you play Tetris, distracting thoughts tend to disappear into the background. This is exactly what you need for effective visualization practice.

Tetris as visualization practice

If you want to experience clear mental imagery, try this exercise. Play Tetris for about 30 minutes before you go to sleep or sit down for visualization practice.

Instead of thinking of daily events you’ll likely end up imagining little blocks falling in your mind. The blocks should appear quite clearly. Experiencing this effect is a fun way to become familiar with mental imagery.

Experiencing mental impressions

Even if you don’t see the blocks clearly, you should get a strong mental impression. This is sufficient for visualization practice.

You may experience a mental impression as a feeling or concept of an image. Mental imagery is not always experienced as a picture with defined colors and boundaries.

Once you’ve experienced the effect it should be easier for you to manipulate your own mental imagery. By getting into the state for visualizing with Tetris, you can move on to other types of mental rehearsal.

I think you’ll find this exercise fun and engaging. I encourage you to explore the Tetris effect to see just how easy it can be to create mental images.

You can play Tetris right here, or visit Tetris friends online for some fun multiplayer action.

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