On this second Sunday of a New Year, the parties are mostly behind us, and the year ahead is full of promise…and probably many goals and the commitments necessary to reach them. How does the phrase “goals and commitments” make you feel? Do you feel your stomach or shoulders or throat or head tighten? Do you feel hotter or colder than usual? Does your heartbeat go faster? Do you feel fear, anxiety, discouragement? OR do you feel enthusiasm, lightness, eagerness, energy? Maybe you even feel a bit of both. We talked about managing stress in an earlier post, so you may already have strategies to help gain emotional balance in the short run. Now we’re going to dig a little deeper.
Feeling bad does not damage you. Emotions are simply blood flow and have no meaning other than what you attribute to them.
This post is about using some simple and powerful visualization techniques to begin to train your mind to be free of emotional upset rather than just managing it when it occurs. In the beginning, you will probably make the most progress if you find a quiet place to practice these techniques. Eventually, they will be habits that will come to your aid even in the most trying circumstances.
WHY YOU “LOSE IQ”
Have you ever wondered why you make really unhelpful decisions or act in ways you wish you hadn’t despite your best intentions? A simple physiological explanation is that your blood stopped flowing strongly toward your prefrontal cortex (supporting a sense of limitless options and the freedom to choose the very best for all involved) and instead started flowing strongly toward your limbic system (very narrow options of fight/flight/freeze/frolic or befriend/freeze, and black/white thinking). But WHY? This process is normally set into motion when something happens that you were not expecting and/or that you could not accept. These are the 5 steps to loss of limitless options thinking:
- You feel tension
- You feel helpless (someone or something ELSE must change because you feel you can’t)
- You feel that time is limited (desperation increases over time; tension often escalates)
- You don’t care about the consequences of what you say or do (your mature value system is not available)
- You lose “IQ” (logical thinking is not available as you experience an emotional/visceral “dump”)
Here is an article you might find helpful: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/leading-emotional-intelligence/201104/where-did-my-iq-points-go
THE “PECK PROTOCOL”
The late David Peck was a psychotherapist working in Fresno, CA who founded the Aesthetic View Institute in that city and spent many years developing protocols helpful in maintaining blood flow to the prefrontal cortex rather than allowing emotional reactions to redirect the flow to the limbic system. The protocols he developed allow the individual to learn how to process incoming “information” while remaining calm through Direct Observation Learning. I was trained in many protocols and certified as a Life Coach by his successor, David Purvis. This protocol was foundational:
- When you are feeling tense about an event/situation/relationship, notice where you feel the tension in your body.
- Look at yourself (with your mind’s eye) not accepting the reality of the situation – what does looking at that image do to your body?
- Look at yourself accepting the reality of the situation (not what it can become, just how it is right now) – what does looking at that image do to your body?
- Notice the difference in tension.
We are wired to feel best in mind, body, and spirit when we are able to accept unflinchingly how things actually are within and outside of ourselves. It is only then that we can begin to work on being objective about how things can be different and how to attract the optimal responses we want from others and from our lives.
THE FACE PROTOCOL
The human face is the most emotionally powerful force in life. Even a blind person can “read” a face through touch. This exercise helps you to learn to see your own face so that you can project the emotions that you want to attract. Try this a few times until you feel you can call up the face you choose any time you want. Then practice choosing.
- Close your eyes and practice counting all the windows in your house or apartment.
- When you are used to “seeing” with your mind’s eye, think about a very happy event or place in the past. Notice colors, movement, dimensions, and clarity/sharpness of each part of the image.
- When you have the image of the happy event or place firmly in your mind, notice the look on your face (with your mind’s eye, not with your eyes open). Keeping “looking” until the image of your face is as clear as everything else in the image. Remember the happy face.
- Once you have the happy face firmly in your mind, think about an event in your past that made you sad or angry. The image may well be black and white, still, flat, dull and dark. Again, “look” at your face with your mind’s eye and keep looking until the sad/angry face is firmly in your mind.
- With your mind’s eye, place the happy face and the sad/angry face side by side. When they are clear, choose the one you prefer.
We are wired to choose the happy face. Now that you know how to find your happy place and happy face, you can find and choose your happy face any time and under any circumstance.
THE PATH TO PEACE
Emotional struggles can be tamed and even overcome once you understand impulses (think of a baby or toddler) and imperative thinking (should/shouldn’t, must/can’t) and how to move beyond those modes into a calm, open, curious, and objective view of life. You can learn how to forecast and do visioning exercises to maximize your readiness for unexpected or undesirable outcomes. If you are having difficulty doing your visualization exercises because of lack of focus, brain fog, or other similar block, there are a number of single essential oils and essential oils blends that can give great support in clearing the way for your forward movement. We can partner in finding those if you’d like.
Optimal emotional health starts with optimal physical health. At Wellness Made Simple, we support you as you work through various protocols to minimize defensiveness, improve maturity and an accurate self-concept, and maximize best thinking and actions. You can be empowered to implement activities and to use products appropriate to the various levels of the Wellness Triangle to strengthen your mind, body, and spirit as you gain wisdom and peace.
Are you ready for next steps?