Life throws so many things at us doesn’t it? People and situations, some unpleasant, some emotionally painful. Sometimes things just don’t go our way or the way we would like. And we end up mulling it all over, and over in our minds, tormenting ourselves about how it could have been different. Of course that just makes it worse in our minds. As the more we play back a picture that upsets us, the more we evoke stronger feelings and emotions in relation to this, which keeps us stuck in the past, and helps to make us more fearful of the future. Now most of us wouldn’t keep watching a DVD for instance, if it really upset us, so why do we continue to replay mental pictures that upset us and make us feel sad, uncomfortable, fearful or unhappy? Crazy aren’t we?
I’ve learnt some techniques which I’ve used successfully with my clients and in my own personal life too. I cannot take the credit for them, I’m just sharing something that works for me, if you know of any other ones, please share and I’ll update this article with them.
Firstly and very importantly, I suggest that you try to accept what has happened. A lot of the time, most of our pain and suffering, or even in some cases depression, arise out of our lack of acceptance of what the reality is. So when you get into the place in your mind where you accept that you can’t change what happened, but that you can change how you feel about it, then you can move on to disassociate effectively in my opinion.
What we’re aiming to do here, is to free your mind from unpleasant thoughts and feelings around a person or situation, so that you free yourself to move on to be able to embrace new experiences in the future.
This first one is about dissociating a bad feeling. If someone annoys you or leaves you with a bad feeling that you can’t shake.
Return to Sender
- Imagine where that feeling is lodged, i.e. chest, tummy?
- Imagine a colour for it
- Imagine a shape / texture
- Then imagine plonking it onto the table, packaging it up, and then firing it over the horizon back to the person who gave it to you!
- At best it will give you something to smile about
Now as a loving spiritual type of person, I don’t tend to send bad energy or bad feelings back at anyone, so the original one I came across is mentioned here, but I changed this slightly and I send the package to the far ends of the universe for recycling. I believe that feelings are only good or bad if we attach that label to them. So for me, I’m sending stagnant energy out and away from me, and I’m not harming anyone by directing it at them. Do whatever works for you, play around with this idea, and make it your own, so that you can feel better.
- Imagine a person or situation that has bothered you
- If you are in the picture with the person or situation in your mind, notice how you feel, how bright is the picture? Full colour?
- Now imagine you are looking in on the person or situation as if you were a bystander, you can now see you and the person from a third perspective. Notice how you feel now, as an observer, you’ll be slightly more detached and less emotionally involved.
- Now imagine that you take a photo. There is a frame around the picture of you and the person and situation, and the photo is in bright colour, large and up close.
- Now start pushing that photo further away from you, so that it gets smaller and smaller and the colour starts to fade out of it, until it becomes just a white rectangle in the distance and then dissapears.
- Do this, as often as necessary until you feel better about the person or situation. Ideally the intensity of your feelings about the issue will lessen as the photo gets smaller.
- Imagine that you go into an empty cinema and sit down. You feel safe. On the screen is a situation that has been bothering you. It’s on pause ready to play.
- When you are ready, play through the situation as you recall it, then pause at the point that you would like a different outcome of how you reacted or felt about it.
- Now rewind it back to the beginning really fast.
- Think about how you would like it to be different, ie, maybe you have a new or different perspective at the end of it; maybe you can see it from a different point of view, from theirs or from a third party view point.
- Now play it again, and in your mind allow the picture of that new approach to go up on the screen. See yourself calmly reacting in a different way this time. Feel the feelings, you want to feel etc.
- Pause. How does that feel? Better? Or not there yet?
- Rewind back to the beginning and pause. Think, what could be better?
- When you are ready, press play, let the movie reflect what you want the situation to be like, get into the feelings that you do want to feel, not the ones you don’t want to feel. So how would you like to feel? Play that out. See yourself playing that out. Work with it until you feel happy. And then play it again. Pause, rewind, and play as many times as it takes until you feel you have it as you want it.
Then whenever you think of this situation again, play the updated movie in your mind. It won’t change what has happened, but you will feel better about it. And you will have a blueprint in your mind for the next time something like that happens to you. This can be used for many things. You can use it to pre plan how you want to be in future situations. The more you play your mind movie over and over, bringing up new thoughts, new feelings and new emotions, you will successfully re programme yourself. I did this long before I trained as a Hypnotherapist, I played a mind movie over and over, getting it right, seeing and feeling how it would be when I qualified. By the time I got to train, most people believed I was already a professional. I’m doing it again now, as I’m training to be a Life Coach. I’ve used this technique to deal with emotional situations also, so I know first hand that these techniques work if we work at making them work.
If you need any help with this, feel free to contact me. I’ll share what I can.