Earlier this week I tweeted this:
When keeping positive is a challenge, just move one shade of emotion closer to it. Next day, one more… 🙂
Want to know why?
Yup…I wasn’t having the best day. Even a super positive person has their off days, those days when it all gets a bit too much.
The tweet above is a technique I learned from the Abraham Hicks books – probably the most well known ‘power of your thoughts’ books after ‘The Secret’.
When you’re a relatively positive person, a dip can seem cavenous. All of a sudden everything piles up and what was once amazing is now just plain crappy.
Then, because you’re a positive person, you pick yourself right back up and go back to being happier…then something else happens…sound familiar?
I went through a stage a few years back when this is all I seemed to do. I’d get myself so positive that I’d be able to cope with almost anything, then one thing would tip me over the edge and I could no longer be super positive about everything. So, instead of moving a shade of emotion down the positive scale, I just seemed to sink right down to the bottom, there was no grey area any more, it was just good or bad.
This sets you off on a lovely emotional roller coaster ranging from deliriously happy to thinking the world is a horrible place full of terrible things. Don’t beat yourself up over this, it happens to the best of us!
If you’ve ever been there, and I’m guessing lots of you have, then you might think the only alternative to this is to become detached and unfeeling. If you were to turn off from your emotions then you wouldn’t have to deal with the highs and the lows, right?
Well, yes, that is one option. If you really want to live life being unable to enjoy it then the unfeeling way is definitely an approach you could try, but it wouldn’t be much fun, would it?
The good news is that there is a way to even this roller coaster out, without living your life in the unfeeling middle bit where nothing gets you excited.
What I was trying to say in 140 characters or less, is that it doesn’t have to be black or white, good or bad, happy or sad. Your emotions lie on a continuum. For example, if you’re feeling really upset, feeling sad might feel slightly better than upset, feeling angry might feel slightly better than sad and so on.
Do you see where this is going?
It’s awesome if you can see the opportunities in any situation and remain super positive no matter what, but this is no easy feat (that’s where I come in…but you’ll have to wait until the new year for that!) and sometimes, life is going to get you down.
IT’S OK THOUGH!
Even if the poop does hit the fan all at once, there’s no need to go screaming down to the bottom dip of the rollercoaster. With a little effort you can regain your composure and remain somewhere near the top.
By thinking about how you feel, and giving that feeling a name, you can move through it.
The following is an NLP technique which is useful to make a step towards a better-feeling emotion. You can use it, bit by bit, to get you all the way back from sad to happy.
- Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and notice how your body feels. Feel which muscles are relaxed and, when you find then (it might take some looking), allow that feeling of relaxation to move throughout your body.
- Feel your feeling, feel it strongly, intensify it…now, give it a name.
- If I were to ask you to imagine yourself on a scale, and asked you to drop through this emotion to the one below it, what would that emotion be called?
- Keep going with this until you hit a void or neutral feeling. At that point, open your eyes. From neutral it’s far more achievable to get back to happy, you can work on that after a nice cup of tea!
The above isn’t a miracle cure, it’s just a tool that might help. The important thing when you’re feeling low is to recognise it as a feeling on a continuum and that you have the ability to move even just 1mm up the continuum to allow yourself to feel even a tiny bit better.
Trust yourself to do this. You don’t have to be super happy all the time, just open to the possibility of being able to.
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