Scent imprinting as a powerful visualization technique

Girl smelling flower
Create your reality with the help of scent imprinting

What is imprinting?

The term “imprinting” needs a bit of explanation. According to Wikipedia, imprinting is “any kind of phase-sensitive learning (learning occurring at a particular age or a particular life stage) that is rapid and apparently independent of the consequences of behaviour. It was first used to describe situations in which an animal or person learns the characteristics of some stimulus, which is therefore said to be “imprinted” onto the subject.”

Today we want to take that definition to our advantage, to use it in our visualization work.

What is scent inprinting?

The kind of imprinting technique we want to explore today is scent. Since the sense of smell is the most direct and has the ability to access memories in a way that the other senses don’t, it is a super powerful way to achieve results in your visualization work.

This particular tool suits you well if you are a kinesthetic type of person. We are all different, and if you are more of a visual type, chances are that you don’t even need a tool because of your vivid visual imagination. The scent imprinting technique can anchor the visualization in the physical reality, if you will, and you will FEEL the visualization take place in your nostrils and your lungs as you sense the smell of your scent of choice.

Why do you want to visualize?

Visualization is one of the most powerful tools that there is to help you reach your goals. We all use it even if we aren’t always aware of it. Think about it: If you want to make dinner for example, you have to visualize what you want to eat before the dinner can appear. You have to have a clear vision of what ingredients you want to use and so on. There is no difference between this kind of “everyday visualization” and the goal setting visualizations. The difference, if you believe there is such a thing, is in your mind. And as long as you believ that it is harder for you to achieve a dream goal than it is to make dinner, you can use a variety of tools to achieve them.

But I don’t have time for visualization work! I’m busy!

Well, I totally get it. It seems hard and it seems like a lot of work. You have kids to take care of, and you have a lasagna in the oven. But the lasagna will take care of itself, I promise. A way to find time is to track your time and energy for a day and see where it goes. Track every half hour for an entire day. Cut off some facebook time for example, and you will discover that you will find that half hour or so to do your visualization work every day.

Do you need visualization tools?

If you’re familiar with visualization work, you probably know that there are a variety of different tools you can use to achieve a powerful visualization, including pictures, vision boards, journals and so on. Scent is one of them, and that’s what we are going to discover today.

With practice, you don’t really need tools to get to the heart of your visualization. You only have to go within to find the tools you need. But when you are still a beginner it can benefit you to use visualization tools to get kick started.

What scent do you want to use?

When you pick the scent you want to use, it is important that you don’t have any prior attachments to the scent. You also want to pick a scent that resonates with the thing you want to visualize. I can take myself as an example: I want to live in south east Asia for a while and become a digital nomad. For this, I picked a perfume that I never smelled before I picked it. The moment I smelled it for the first time, I visualized myself in Bali, one of my “bucket list” destinations. So the scent is always imprinted with My vision of Bali and what it means to me. This scent is kind of a spicy, hot scent with a lot of deep tones in it, like wood and incense. I visualize it as a deep red and petrol color.

The scent imprinting technique in three steps:

So once you’ve picked your scent, it’s time to get to work with it. Use the following 3 steps in every visualization session, and you will be good to go:

Step 1: Sit in meditation for a couple of minutes. Calm your mind.

Step 2: Pick up your scent of choice. If the scent is a perfume: Administer it somewhere on your body, preferably on your wrists. If it is an incense stick, scented candle or something like that, light it. Close your eyes and smell the scent. Visualize your goal while taking deep breaths. Fill your lungs with the scent and feel the connection between the scent and your goal. Feel that you are already there, that the goal is already achieved.

Step 3: During the day, smell the scent a couple of times and remind yourself that whenever you can sense the smell, your visualization is one step closer to becoming your reality. Soon enough you will have made a strong connection between the scent and your preferred outcome/ goal.

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