Why I stopped worrying and did this instead
Don’t we all want to feel great at all times? Don’t we all want to experience happy thoughts, peace and joy at all times?
Right now, you may be feeling stuck and it is preventing you from getting what you want. Or perhaps like me, you’ve returned from holidays and after first day back at work, you’re drained. Already? Frustration leaves me wanting to bump my head against the wall. Every snotty comments affects me. Have you ever felt so sensitive to world around you? Everything gets right underneath your skin and cuts deep?
Its like you’re out of control of your emotions, swirling, taking you on the ride. You start of the day happy and content and by evening you’re exhausted and drained? I am so tired of feeling like this!
THERE’S A TECHNIQUE IN NLP WHICH (IF MASTERED) HELPS YOU ACCESS ANY STATE
State is psychological, mental, emotional condition that we are in any given time. We label these - joy, anger, fear, happiness, frustration, exhaustion, confidence. Every time you’re describing how you feel, you’re describing the state you’re in.
We know a stuck state - not useful for what we want to accomplish. You might find yourself in the stuck state which prevents you from getting what you want. For example: Fear, you feel fearful so you don’t attend the interview
Opposite to stuck state is a resourceful state - which is helpful to getting what we want.
The good news is you can learn to intentionally access any given state but be under no illusion, it is not going to be easy.
So how do we get there? When most of the time we react on autopilot?
Our brains are wired to operate from autopilot to prevent from information overload. It’s brains genius, no one wants to be overthinking on small decisions, this way we have enough brain capacity to concentrate on big-important stuff.
In recent article I read, published in Forbes, author Margie Warrell, compared autopilot to sleepwalking. She included interesting facts from researches conducted on autopilot, for example: average Brit makes 15 decisions a day on autopilot, 15 decisions without thinking about them, no consideration, learn more here.
According to Dr. Mark Williamson, “autopilot makes it harder for us to make instinctively good choices so we feel trapped, and that we’re living some-one else’s life.”
So if you feel out of control over your life and how you feel most of the time, read on.
During one day, you go through numerous different states. How often do you do it intentionally? Not often. First you feel enthusiastic, then you read work's email - you move to anger, then you have a laugh with co-worker so you feel calm, later on you have disagreement with another co-worker, you feel annoyed so by the time you come home from work - you’re exhausted by all the emotions you’ve been through.
In this article, I will teach you how to break state and move from one state to another. More familiar you get with this technique, more natural it’ll feel for you and more often you’ll be able to use it during day to day life.
HERE IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO
From NLP we know that what we feel affects our thoughts and what we think directly influences our behaviour. In order to get results you want you need do develop what we call behavioural flexibility. Which means you are changing your approach until you achieve result you want. And secret to you changing your approach is ability to access a variety of emotional states.
Pause for a moment and think about your feelings you go through normal day. Note them down.
If you wrote down 4 or 5. Think more. Your goal is to have as many feelings as you can. Your experience of life will become richer once you can experience more emotional states. You don’t want to limit yourself to good, ok, bad and awful.
THE 4 WAYS YOU CAN ACCESS YOUR DESIRED EMOTIONS
1. have intention
Before you start your day. Before you leave for work. Ask yourself: How do I want to feel? Give yourself this power. Most of us give this power away and leave it in the hands of the outside circumstances.
Think back to time when when you felt the way you want to feel now. Relive those feelings again.
3. use your imagination
Imagine what would it be like to feel that way.
4. use ‘As If’ method
Act as if you already felt the way you wish to.
You may find that all of these work for you. Or you may find that particular one stands out. Either way, use this to your benefit. There are more ways to access desired states, for more info and more in depth materials, subscribe to my monthly membership.
You may be thinking how can I use this for myself?
Start by asking yourself 3 questions which will help you being more intentional.
How do you want to feel in your life?
How do you want to feel today?
What is your tomorrow going to be like?
These are perhaps the questions you never asked yourself before, how about you start now and see how your days change.
I am obsessed with books especially any books on psychology. And to no surprise, they all agree on this chain of events that happens for all of us without limits: Thoughts have direct effect on our behaviours and out emotions.
What that means for you is, if you’re feeling sad, your thoughts follow this feeling so it is very likely the thoughts which run through your mind will be reminding you the time when whatever you were trying to accomplish did not go according to a plan or you’ll be reminded of some sad memories. As result you’ll cancel walk with friend and instead stay at home wallowing some more.
This does not need to go this way, now you understand your thoughts, emotions and behaviours affect each other, you can choose to go for walk and swap initial sad thoughts for nice thoughts about the nature you see around or thoughts about conversation you’re having with your friend. Dive into conversation and you soon forget sad thoughts from earlier and your emotions will follow and soon you’ll feel relaxed and happier.
HOW CAN YOU USE IT TO YOUR BENEFIT?
ROUTINE - START YOUR DAY THE RIGHT WAY
There may be routine you have in place for morning, to get you into the right state for the day or the routine you follow to set you off before the bed time.
Whenever you feeling tired, what’s the first thing you do, get fresh air, a glass of water, right? Perhaps you have a playlist on your phone to get you in the right cheerful mood before you go out on Friday.
If, however for whatever reason, you don’t have morning routine. Think about what it is that would set you up for having a good day?
What I do, and this may not work for you but if it does, you’re more than welcome to do the same… Every morning, I choose a couple of Ted talks to listen to. Inspiring ideas. It’s accessible even on your phone, it’s free. Each video is maximum 20 minutes long, I have nice hour to get ready. Before the bed time, I read. It can be from the whole chapter to simply a couple of pages depending on how tired I’m feeling.
While reading NLP BOOK BY Tom Hoonyar, I came across the authors questions he asked him self each morning and it resonated with me so much I’ve adapted his before getting up routine:
“ I ask myself 5 questions before I let my feet hit the floor:
What am I looking forward to today?
Longer term, what am I looking forward to?
Am I doing things that lead directly to my goals?
Am I being my best friend and supporter right now? Own cheerleader, not a critic?
Am I present in my body, here and now, feeling, seeing what I see now, hearing what I hear now, and am I enjoying the gift of being alive?”
We all know how to affect our states, it’s within our control yet most of the time we just go with the flow reacting to what’s going on around us, thinking other people can make us happy, cheer us up or bring us down. This may be true for you in the past, but not any more.
Before you set out for your day, get clear on how do you want to feel, at what state do you want to experience your day?
Describe to yourself your desired state?
How will you know you’ve achieved your desired state? Under what circumstances, where, when and with whom do you want to have this state?
What stopped you in the past experiencing this state when you wanted?
What anchor you set to bring you back to this state if you’re stray and get influenced by outside circumstances?
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU DID NOT START YOUR DAY THE RIGHT WAY?
By now, you know how important it is to start the day right. Positively. However, if for some reason you start of poorly, for example, you snoozed a few too many times and made yourself late for work.
As soon as you can, take a quiet 5 minutes (this could even be at toilet at work, wherever you won’t get interrupted), take a couple deep breaths (not the normal breaths, really force yourself to take a deep breaths), let go of crazy morning rush, forgive yourself for snoozing (again) and decide what state you want to move on with your day from this moment onward. Once this is done, get back to work.
OUR MINDS ARE PRECONDITIONED TO NEGATIVE THINKING
Only last week I’ve attended psychology course on overcoming anxiety where I’ve learnt that our minds are actually preconditioned to negative thinking - assessing danger, potential risks, anything that could cause you harm, your minds radar will pick it up and draw your attention. In these cases this is positive fact for us however on the other hand, in basic day to day situation too much of it could hold us back and hinder our experience of life.
SO HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE THE RIGHT BALANCE?
Well, this is a tough one. As much as for your own benefit as for my own I decided to crack this for once and for all. I’m assuming as you’re reading this, you must believe there’s a better way of experiencing life. I’m with you on this!
And please know, I’m not talking about blissful happiness for 24/7, I’m more realistic than that and you’re too, right?
What I am talking about is better way of coping with daily stress, whether it is your financial situation, your relationships, love life, work thing, whatever this may be for you. For me, it’s all of above.
What I find my state to be like most of the days is a rollercoaster. I’m fine one minute, and jerk next, I felt positive yesterday, today I’m a mess.
You may agree with me, I feel more capable of dealing with challenges when I’m in positive state. Now, I get this is no ground breaking news. What I find difficult is to keep that in mind, recall it when I’m actually in a bad state. And I know you’re on this with me. It’s easier to live from positive feelings and the colours look brighter, world is friendlier, people are more pleasant…
The meaning of the world, the choices you make, the language you use, it’s all defined by state. The difference in the day you experiencing is in the focus. And even though the difference could be tiny, over the time it adds up creating a state that builds throughout the day, reinforcing itself.
Under no circumstances, I am suggesting here that you can predict what is going to happen in the day for you. Life is spiral, that takes you for a ride. You may hit the peak one day and hit the ultimate low the next. There are days, we receive the news that come like a punch in the chest or brick over the head. Even though you cannot influence or prevent yourself from receiving bad news occasionally, you can however choose your reaction.
I know, this line has been written many times and for that, we tend to brush it off and get back to swirl of emotions until it’s finally evening and we retire for bed, exhausted and beaten.
I write this because I’ve been in the same cycle. However what is not mentioned very often is, this cycle is dangerous for your mental and physical health.
Remember the time you heard an old song and got immediately transported to that hot summer evening you spent with your grandmother? How is that possible? The old song worked as trigger/ anchor which stimulated a specific emotional state.
What you may already know, we all are anchored at all times. Example: stopping at the red lights.
We spend a lot of time reacting to these unconscious triggers.
There’s a way you could set your own anchor to be able to access desired state whenever you wish to, for more information, become a member.
SLOW THINGS DOWN
Tom Hoobyar, in his book NLP suggests: “the only way to do is to slow things down, take a few deep breaths, and run the mental movie at half speed, quarter speed, or 10 percent speed really slowly, back before you had the feeling. And to discover, just before you had the feeling what happened.”
Turn down the volume, if it’s phrase. If the trigger is image, try out the technique we call in NLP visual swish.
FEELING OR EMOTION IS JUST AN OPTION
“Feeling an emotion is just an option”. Most of the day we operate from autopilot, we feel, interpret, react without stoping and examining what’s going on with us. Auto-pilot makes things easy for us and safe us time. Just imagine of you had to think and analyse if you should brush your teeth in the morning or to have breakfast. I think you’d make yourself late.
Autopilot turns negative when it’s letting pass negative triggers and we whoop into emotions. Our interpretations, emotions, reactions are automatic, their cause is out of our awareness and it goes undetected unless we stop and force ourselves to check.
THIS IS HOW YOU SET AN INTENTION
To set an intention and start setting up state you want to be experiencing your days, consider asking yourself these questions:
What am I looking forward to today?
In the long term, what am I looking forward to?
What do I need to do daily to work towards my goals?
Am I being my supporter?
Am I mindful enough, am I experiencing my life here and now?
In the book, NLP by Tom Hoobyan, he suggest that the reason we don’t pay attention to our states and move through emotions, is were distracted. One way to bring the focus where we want it is by asking questions. (Use the questions I’ve included in this article)
VISUALISE THE FUTURE
The most successful online trainer in personal development, Brendon Burchard, also suggests to ask questions in the morning, which he suggests will improve your daily motivation. Reminding and visualising yourself in the future doing what you want to do, will get you into more effective state for the day.
And whenever thing come up for you and you’re find yourself slipping into less preferably state. Stop, visual future and notice how different you feel.
NOTICE HOW YOUR MIND INTERPRETS NEGATIVE SITUATIONS
Think about the situation in which you reacted negatively. This could be a time when someone frustrated you, work situation, or something you don’t like about yourself.
As you’re thinking about the negative situation, notice, your mind is presenting the situation to you in still images or sounds. You can see the person who frustrated you, you can hear what’s been said between you two. Notice the size of image, location of image, the colour, the amount of detail, words or sounds, notice the clarity, the tone, the volume.
If you take upon yourself to think of the same situation again a week later, notice that the same images will come up for you and the same sounds, this will evoke the same emotions for you.
You are programmed to react the same way to similar situation.
Still with the same situation in mind, ask yourself these questions:
How would you like to experience this in the future?
How would you like to feel about it?
What positive results will this have for you?
What other positive consequences are likely to happen?
What else could come from making this change?
Even though you’re now programmed to react the same way, that does not mean, it has to stay that way.
Think about the situation again, seeing the image, start changing the colour of the image, make in black and white, crop it, move it behind you. With the sounds you hear, turn the volume down, turn it down a bit more, mute it.
If you think back to the situation, does it evoke the same emotions than before you started adjusting image and sound? Chances are, your answer is no. Don’t you feel powerful?
This may seem a lot of information. Just remember, even if you apply at least one of the exercises I've included, you will see/feel significant difference. It’s your turn now. Put the tools and techniques I included to work, reap the benefits and please, do let me know in the comments below. I want to hear from you.