Today I have an article about how you can quickly change the feeling about an event for yourself and covertly for anyone else.
Using Your Senses for a Change
One of the things we do in our heads is form internal representations. I call them that because they are much more than just pictures. If you think about a pleasant memory you will notice there are feeling, sounds, pictures and often tastes and smell as well.
Depending on what you are thinking about and the type of person the relatively impact of each of those senses will be different. Some people don’t even recognise that they make pictures in their heads. If you are one of them think about the colour of the walls in your childhood bedroom.
The Colour of Your Thoughts
You can only know the colour by visually remembering the room. If you still think you didn’t make a picture just trust that you do it so fast that you just don’t consciously see it and a little practice at slowing things down enough to see the pictures would be a simple way of changing that.
For the moment I am just going to talk about the pictures you make in your head. I am using pictures because it is the easiest to describe and in my experience people get the idea quicker with this than the other senses. But it is important to recognise that this happens with all your senses.
One of the things we do with the internal representations in our head is that we encode some meaning to them. You have happy memories, sad memories, you can think of things that you like and other things that you dislike. You have difficult memories as well as fond memories of people, places and things.
One of the ways we encode meaning is through the qualities of those senses. Just do this experiment for a moment. I want you to think of something that you hate the taste of…over boiled brussel sprouts, an egg that went off three months ago and you have just cracked it open in a pan, anything that you would find really horrible to taste. I know you will have lots of senses going at the moment but just notice the picture in your head. Once you have taken note of the qualities of that picture let it go.
I want you to think of something that you love eating. Something that makes you salivate just thinking about it. Once you have that picture notice the qualities of that one as well. Now you can compare the qualities of the two pictures.
You will notice that one is brighter, one closer to you or more colourful, in a different place in your mind’s eye. The contrast and colour saturation might be different. Whatever it is that you notice, just notice that each of these pictures has a different quality.
For the NLP jargon junkies this is what they call sub-modalities. The modalities are your senses, sight, sound, feelings etc. The sub-modalities are the qualities of those senses eg. Brightness, loudness, intensity, size, shape etc.
Why is this important?
Sub-modalities are one way that wee encode meaning to things and events. Have a watch of this video experiment and notice you feelings about the two versions of the film .
I don’t think the grading alone would have saved Man of Steel as a film but I certainly would have left the cinema being less rabid about my dislike of the movie. I also suspect that the film would have made more of a box office success with just that change.
Now that I know this how can I use it?
Firstly consider what you can do with the habitual internal representations that you make in your own head. If there are things you dislike doing but need to do them anyway perhaps you might alter the sub-modalities and see what happens.
For example if every time you think of going to the gym you get a sinking feeling just notice the sub-modalities and start changing them. Perhaps you feel better about the gym if the picture was brighter and higher up in your field of view. If that is the case then put the picture there every time you think of the gym. After a few goes you will start doing it automatically and you will start thinking differently about the gym.
You could use these ideas for lots of things. For example if you feel like you should be eating more broccoli and less chocolate you might change the sub-modalities around to feel differently. If you are scared of the dentist perhaps change the sub-modalities to something that you are calm and confident about.
How About Helping Others?
That is what you can do for yourself. And consider the idea that whenever you speak to someone they form internal representations of what you are saying just so they can make sense of the sentence.
Does that mean careful selection of the words that you use will alter the sub-modalities that they get? And as a result you can subtly alter how they feel about things completely bypassing their conscious mind? The short answer is Yes…we do this to each other all the time.
Calling All Coaches, Therapists, Trainers and Consultants
Imagine a coach, therapist, trainer or consultant speaking with their client. And the client is telling them about the presenting issue. And as the client speaks the coach using subtle questions that alter sub-modalities completely changes the feelings around the issue or installs empowering beliefs to deal with it. These are just a couple of the linguistic changes you can make. Here is an FAQ page on a course where you can learn more. Just click through the image below