Frequently I hear clients coming to therapy asking for a particular feeling state. It may be that they want to feel calm. Or happy. Or energetic and motivated. They may express their outcome as a feeling state they want not to have, like sadness, or anger.
While life conditions and personal patterns obviously have a big effect on what we feel, think and sense, there are many ways to change your state. Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) as an approach provides a wealth of options, with the focus on creating possibilities and options so that we have a felt sense of our own power in influencing and changing our own internal experience.. For example, we can work with our physical body, and with the way we represent things to ourselves internally, and with our many unconscious filters that influence what we notice and how it impacts us.
Not everyone wants to go off and study NLP, and nor do you need to! Here’s one simple way to influence what you feel right now. I’ve taken here as an example feeling relaxed, but you can do the same thing with any feeling state.
Bring to mind a time when you felt exactly the kind of relaxed you want to feel. Close your eyes (if that feels OK, if not keep them open), and notice, at this time in this place, what exactly can you see? Have a good look around and notice what is there, in detail. Notice the light, the colours, the textures. And notice, what can you hear here in this place? Really listen out for the sounds, however subtle. Notice the smell of this place on this occasion, what is the aroma? And is there a taste that connects to this for you?
Now notice how it feels in your body, right here, right now, as you have this multi-sensory experience. It’s soothing, right? It helps you regulate your nervous system. And the great thing is its completely free, continuously available, and completely within your control.. It’s a wonderful gift, and you can give it to yourself.
Next time you notice yourself wishing you felt a different way to how you do, go on, give yourself that experience.