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Who needs alcohol? Our imaginations are much more powerful!


Who needs alcohol? Our imaginations are much more powerful!

Elite sportspeople practice visualization to help them produce their best performances in real life events. To do this they imagine seeing the arena, hearing the crowds, smelling the coffee, feeling the grass below their feet, etc. This imaginary process uses the same areas of our brains as if we were actually physically doing it and is called functional equivalence. And, significantly, it often appears just like the real thing.

This same visualization procedure can also be used to influence the amount we drink. There are numerous examples of college students believing they were drunk when, in fact, they were only given non-alcoholic drinks. This mind – body interaction is also used in the rehabilitation of people who have experienced strokes. Patients are often encouraged to image drinking a cup of tea to help restore the swallowing reflex.

Neuroscience has also identified that we spend 6 – 8 hours of each waking day daydreaming and mind-wandering. So, in this talk, let’s put these natural skills to good use by practising imaginary drinking and creating a more healthy lifestyle for ourselves.


John Wilson is an imagination architect and learning specialist who teaches at the universities of Oxford and Sheffield. Previously, John worked in Sweden and Saudi Arabia before becoming an ‘academic disciplinarian’ at a large bank in Canary Wharf. He has written and edited ten books including Dream: Your Life, Your Future, which explores how we can use daydreaming and imagination to improve our lives. Although being in retirement territory, he can still visualize himself leaping tall skyscrapers and scoring the winning goal for England in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The event is free to attend, registering for a ticket does not guarantee entry so we suggest you turn up 15 minutes before the event start time to get your seat!

The festival is part of the Mindful Drinking Festival at  Re:Solutions.

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Map Truman Brewery Events, Ely's Yard, London, United Kingdom
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