Don’t like what you are feeling? Try a feeling exchange.
The song writers and feeling experts agree on this one. The first way to act on a feeling is to do the opposite of what the feeling urges.
All the best research on handling emotions say unless there is a life threatening safety issue, it is wisest to act against what the feeling suggests doing. This runs contrary to much of the more popular idea that feelings should be listened to and acted on.
Think about the following and ask yourself when it makes sense to act as the feeling suggests or against the feeling?
- Fear normally says to run away. Going against fear means approaching what you are afraid of unless doing so puts you in physical danger. Afraid of a man with a gun, do not approach. Afraid someone you like might reject you, reach out. Afraid of cats, pet a kitten; afraid of a kitten, pet a stuffed cat.
- Guilt or shame normally say stop doing what you are doing. Assuming the guilt is unjustified, you are not hurting people physically or emotionally or doing things like stealing, do what you feel guilty or ashamed of doing. Guilt and shame will fade.
- Sadness, loneliness, or emptiness normally say shut down. The opposite involves getting active.
- Anger normally says to Acting against anger means keeping a soft voice and a calm body while thinking kind and gentle in the presence of that person. It also means doing what you can to right the wrongs creating the anger.
Acting against a feeling is not always easy to do. Not only do feelings signal us to act, but often the signal is accompanied by a burst of energy that pushes us to act quickly. Moreover, often we are conflicted. Part of us wants one thing and another part wants something else.
When you have learned to use Emotional Fitness Exercises to help you stay calm and focused on what is important, you will be able to resist a feeling’s pressure to act without thinking. You will be able to deal with conflicted feelings and act appropriately. The Rehearsing Change Exercise will speed up the process. Here’s how to rehearse change
- Be clear about your Game Plan. Don’t have one: Read this.
- Next start by going to your safe place and popping up your viewing screen. (Don’t know what I mean. Here is the session on Creating Safe Places. Visit it and then come back when you have created your own safe place. )
- Take a calming breathe and turn on a video of the last time the feeling you want to change controlled you and you did things you now regret.
- After you get to the feeling you regret, rewind the tape in your mind back to the beginning.
- Start the tape again, this time see how you wish youself acting on your Game Plan acted that is your change goal
- Rewind the tape again and this time add the things you need to do to reach your goal. Most likely that will involve OMMing, sloganeering while making strong body and face, and then seeing yourself acting in the ways that will get you to your goal.
- You may have to rewind and edit several times before you see yourself doing your best. That’s the way of change, practice and perfect. You have perfected the tape when you feel happy with the new ending.
- What then? Rehearsing lots in your mind and then bit by bit trying the Game Plan in real life situations.
Have trouble visualizing? You are not alone. You probably do better using words. Just describe in words what happened once and then develop a script for what you want to happen. People who do not visualize well often find writing a script words. Some tape the script once it is done to their satisfaction and then play it over and over again, usually at night before falling asleep.
Rehearsals are hypnotic devices. Don’t let that scare you. Hypnotism is nothing more than going some place else in your mind. The some place else is called a trance state and you’ve been in many.
Examples: When you get involved in a movie, t.v. show, or book and forget the real world you are trancing out. When you are traveling somewhere in a car, or bus, or train and get so lost in your thoughts you are surprized when you arrive at your destination. If some says shut your eyes and has you visualize something, they are leading you into a trance.
Some words of warning: Generally, you cannot be hypnotized without being willing, and you rarely will do something you don’t already want to do. How then to some people give into stage hypnotists and end up clucking like chickens? Good question. Three things explain that:
- A good hypnotist can pick out those in the audience that are hypnotically talented. And the ability to go into a trance is a talent that some people have and others do not.
- Besides people who volunteer to go on stage, like to show off a bit.
- People who volunteer also like to please people in authority.
When is hypnotism dangerous? If the three things mentioned above are partnered with a dark urge, people can be lead to do bad things. Think for a moment about charismatic leaders. Hitler was one and in many ways brain washed and hypnotised a nation.
What to do to stay safe? Before embarking on any thing resembling a hypnotic state, set up a safety net. “Going on a trip, but keeping myself and others safe” works.
Self-hypnotism is a useful life skill. Moreover, the younger your child, the more easily he or she can learn this skill. This works for the two or three year old.
Step One: Start with teaching your child some self-soothing exercises at bedtime. The OMM is a good one. Tense and Release also works.
Step Two: Add words that suggest relaxing and add numbers to the words. Relaxing one, relaxing two, relaxing three. Say the words softly and connect them to your child’s breath. Say “Relaxing” as the child breathes in and the number as the child breaths out.
Step Three: When the child is relaxed, tell a short bedtime story that creates a success visualiation and that includes a hypnotic suggestion. . Here’s an example.
We are walking in the woods. The sun is shining, and sprinkly the path with spots of gold. We are happy as we walk. The air smells of pine and birds chirp. A dog is running ahead of us. We follow him, but we get to a fork in the road, and do not know which way to go. We wait quietly and listen carefully. Soon we hear a faint barking. The dog has taken the path to the right. As we head down that path, the dog comes running back to us. Listening carefully always works best.
Repeat the last line a number of times. That is the hypnotic message you want to implant.
Here is the OMM Poster Coach in case you’ve forgotten it.
I often use these prompts to spark my posts. They work to improve critical thinking - the heart of emotional intelligence. You can think about the prompts as stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. If I put on my thinking cap the prompts can be related to Emotional Fitness. Here’s how I did that for this post.
DAILY PROMPT Came from a ten-minute free write. But took me lots longer. The message: When someone suggests something, make it your own; take was works, work it the way you need to and leave the rest behind.
FREE STUFF FROM EFTI
All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free (Handouts are in Black and White while Poster Coaches are in color.)
Apologies if you cannot find one. I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others. If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.
LINKS OF INTEREST
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Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.