June 2007 - Changing Your Emotions From Bad To Good
What if I told you that you could control your emotional state at will? That instead of your emotions controlling you, you can control them? One of the biggest mysteries in life is about ourselves. Who are we, what are we here for, why do we do what we do and is there something more than this?
In many ways, we’ve come a long way from mankind’s beginnings when we questioned how the seasons changed or will the sun com back after a long winter. And in other ways, the original teachings are still the most valid. Advances in medicine and science have given us glimpses into how the mind operates, but not what is the mind. Science still struggles with the concept of man as one holistic being of mind, body and spirit.
Utilizing some of the techniques of N.L.P. (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we can discover how our thoughts get created, how we know and learn and how we create our reality as well as our experience of that reality.
All of these are different to each person because of our own unique thoughts, emotions, memories and distortions which come to us through our five senses – visual, auditory, kinesthetic (feeling), olfactory (smell), and gustatory (taste). Each one of us creates our experience of the world in our own special way.
If I ask you why you did something, you could probably give me numerous reasons. In fact, many people become experts at their problems and can spend hours going on and on about why they did it. Knowing why is fine but now what? How do you stop doing it? You’ve probably even gone through the process of repeatedly telling yourself to Stop It! How well did that work? Often this only causes you to feel worse about yourself, which can lead to doing more of the undesired behavior. And so we go round and round. So rather than delving into why you do something, let’s begin to examine how you do it.
Bring to mind a pleasant memory, a one-time event, something you can remember easily. As you think of it, notice that you have a picture in your mind of the memory. Now, notice whether your image is black and white or color. Is it a movie or a still picture? Is it close to you or far away? Are you watching yourself in it or are you in it? Is the picture small or large?
These are perceptual though forms called Submodalities and they give meaning to our “pictures.” By changing Submodalities, you can change the meaning of the picture. Notice what happens when you bring the picture closer or move it farther away; make it bigger or smaller. What happens if you add color or remove it? What happens if you move yourself in or out of the picture?
Do each of these one at a time bringing the picture back to the original way after each one. If you find the picture is more pleasant by doing one of these, by all means keep it that way. You might want to keep track of what happens with each change of Submodalities so that if you don’t like something you can change it back.
You can also change the sounds and feelings of a picture. If there are noises associated, you can make them louder or softer. Move them to a different location or change the speed. You can change the tone of a sound – say the tone of a voice. If there are feelings, where are they? Are they heavy, steady, throbbing, etc. You can increase or decrease the intensity, move them around or heat them up. Sounds and feelings will often change when you change the “visual” aspects as mentioned earlier.
Here’s where we get into state control or managing our emotions. Suppose every time your boss looks at you a certain way, you get anxious. Take that picture and notice the Submodalities. Now change them! What if you took the picture and made it small and dark and moved it far away from you? This will cause the feeling to become less intense. Do this several times (at least 3 times) and your feelings when the boss looks at you will change forever.
What if you’d like to change your emotional state to something positive? Think of a time in the past where you felt that particular emotion. Notice the Submodalities and increase them until the feeling is really intense. Make it brighter, bigger, more colorful, closer – whatever will cause the positive emotion to increase. Then imagine you are stepping right into the picture. Do this 2 or 3 times and I guarantee your mood will get more positive.
So the next time you wake up and tell yourself you’re having a Bad Hair Day…CHANGE THE PICTURE!
I want to thank Debra Fentress, Clinical Hypnotherapist in California for sharing this wonderful article, reprinted here. This describes a powerful process in NLP called: “The Swish Technique” that I teach my clients. It’s also a powerful technique for helping to shift anxious feelings prior to any type of performance, public speaking or test taking. Remember what you imagine, you create. Let us know how your practice goes. We’d love to hear from you.