In this chapter you’ll learn 11 very simple ways to gently change how you think and feel – our techniques.
Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Most of us do exactly that. We struggle and struggle with things, but never really change our approach. We try the same old things over and over that never worked and perhaps never will. However, the aim of Self-Rewiring sessions is to help you to choose to think and feel differently. Only by thinking and feeling differently will anything change.
How does Self-Rewiring do this? There’s a few ways, and they’re all listed here, on the second row of the What do I need now? menu:
They’re in three categories:
Each technique includes full instructions for you to follow, step-by-step. However, to help build your confidence, I’ll describe them and give you some advice too.
Let’s take a look.
Techniques are things you use, like tools.
Tools are used to change things, usually to fix things that are broken.
Therefore our techniques are fittingly represented by the wrench icon.
Test, “Reveal what I need to do...”
Here we use sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. For example, if your feeling was a colour, what would it be, and what would you change it to if you could choose? (“Change a sense”) Or, if your feeling was a colour, what would it be, and what does that reveal about how you feel? (“Interpret a sense”)
The two sensory techniques ask questions that might sound ridiculous at first. For example, if your feeling was a colour, what colour would it be? Please don’t cringe. These questions are actually useful.
For example, maybe you feel red hot with anger, or blue with depression. Maybe your feeling could be represented by a texture. Is your feeling like a sharp, rough, tree bark, or is it more like a cold wet sponge?
By using the senses...
...you can grasp a feeling more quickly and easily than with words.
Words are difficult. Writing down exactly how you feel is very difficult without a thesaurus.
But your imagination is much easier! For example, when someone says they feel “stabbed to the heart”, we know what they mean. But how would you describe that same feeling using normal emotional words? Is it because they were betrayed? Disappointed? Guilty? Helpless? It’s difficult to describe. But the person who says they feel “stabbed to the heart” knows exactly what they mean. Using sensory feelings is much, much easier!
Once you’ve grasped your feeling in a sensory way, it’s much easier to change that feeling. If you change it’s colour, or it’s texture, or whatever, to something that you want instead, it can profoundly affect the feeling itself.
For example, if you do feel “stabbed to the heart” you may wish to replace that in your imagination, with, perhaps, carrying a big, black, heavy weight in front of you, maybe a cannonball.
When you do that, you have changed how you view that feeling. Instead of being a victim,...
You are, to a small degree, now choosing how you feel. Yes, you have begun to take charge of it, instead of it taking charge of you!
So we have two techniques that do this. The first technique...
...helps change a sense, or feeling, as I’ve just described.
The second technique...
...just helps you to understand it better, because sometimes you might not be ready to change anything. You may just want to understand what you feel, and think about why you feel a pain in your heart, or why your feeling is the colour “red”, or why it feels like a wet sponge, and so on.
So that technique will only ask you identify what sense (colour, sound, smell, whatever) represents and describes your feeling, and then interpret it.
Before we move on to the other techniques, please go to the session page to look over and play with the sensory techniques for yourself.
Either just have a read-through them, or pretend you’re doing a session and try them out for fun.
Test, “Reveal which...”
These six techniques are designed to change your feelings through your physical body. They work by disrupting or muddling your normal way of thinking and feeling, helping you to ‘snap out’ of your current thinking pattern, so you can consider new possibilities.
There are six physical techniques. However, most work in the same way:
Since all six are so similar, I’m only going to describe to you one of them:
For example, the first technique, Move my eyes asks you what you need to think about, then asks you to to move your eyes back and forth, over and over, while thinking of that.
Moving your eyes back and forth? What? It sounds crazy, I know. However, it really does work.
It’s based on a therapy technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming), that’s been around for decades, and it really does work when used correctly.
The EMDR eye movement therapy even works on people who are blind. So it’s nothing to do with looking anywhere, it’s probably just a distraction technique.
When you have your unwanted thought or feeling in mind and make a distracting movement, it probably just disrupts your normal way of thinking or feeling. It muddles how you feel, and stops such thoughts from being so ‘set in stone’.
For example, if I try to think of something from 20 years ago that really upsets me, and I try to keep thinking of how upset I am, while moving my eyes... it’s almost impossible to do both. It has the effect of really “snapping you out” of a way of thinking and feeling. And that effect is usually long-lasting.
The other five techniques work in similar ways. Here’s a very brief overview:
Move my body is about moving your legs or arms or whatever instead of the eyes.
Tap my skin is tapping your skin instead of moving your eyes or body.
Even the forth technique, Look at a flashing light is similar. You choose your colour light and the speed at which it flashes, and then look at it while thinking of your feeling or issue. It’s probably just another way of disrupting, or muddling, your ‘set in stone’ feelings in the same way moving your eyes works.
Don’t use it if you (or anyone who may look at your screen) have epilepsy!
Change my body language is a little more interesting. When we feel something, it’s reflected in our body language. However, sometimes our body language just becomes a habit, and then your brain might look at your body and think, “Oh, is that how I’m supposed to feel? Okay then!” This technique helps you to break this vicious circle.
Finally, the Reassure myself technique is just an opportunity to say good, reassuring, things to yourself.
Please take a look at, and play with, these techniques. Either just have a read-through them, or pretend you’re doing a session and try them out properly.
Please go to the session page.
Finally, there are four visual techniques. These all ask you to use your imagination.
Test, “Reveal which...”
These four techniques use your imagination to see pictures or moving images. By representing your feelings as images, patterns, shapes, and pictures, we can help you to see things differently and to feel differently about situations and issues.
They all work in the same way, more or less. How?
They ask you to imagine a visual representation of how you feel, by making how you feel...
Then, when you have one of these in your imagination, you change what you imagine to something you want instead.
For example, if your feeling can be represented by an old, mouldy, book, you may want to replace it with a new, clean, book. Since the “book” represents how you feel, changing the visual image can help you to see your feeling differently.
The fourth and final technique, Imagine a scene, asks you to imagine how things could be (or could have been) different.
That’s it. That’s how they all work.
For example, with the first technique, Recover a book, you’re asked to imagine that a book has been written all about how you feel. You imagine the size of the book, the cover, the colour, the font, and so on. Then you change the cover of the book to something that represents how you’d like to feel about the words inside.
With Reframe a picture, you imagine that a picture has been painted showing how you feel, complete with a frame of a certain material, pattern, colour and so on. Then you change the frame to something that represents how you’d like to feel about the picture within.
With Be like someone else, you imagine someone else, either a real person or a fictional person, acting and feeling how you would like to feel. So, if you’d like to be a confident, outgoing person, then you would imagine seeing a confident outgoing person. Then, you imagine replacing that person with yourself, except it is now you feeling that confidence, and you being outgoing, or whatever.
Finally, Imagine a scene gives your body an opportunity to imagine how things could have been different in the past, could be different now, or could be different in the future. You imagine a realistic scene of what you want, something that reasonably could have, or could be, reality.
I believe that these visual techniques work in a very simple way:
They help your mind to see things from a different perspective, to see different possibilities, so you think to yourself, “Well, maybe I could be different, maybe things could have been different in the past, maybe I can look at this from a slightly different perspective.”
In other words, they help you to break out of your fixed, automatic way of thinking which may normally never change by itself.
Please look over and play with these techniques for yourself. Either just read-through them, or pretend you’re doing a session and try them out properly.
Please go to the session page.
While it’s great to be able to change what we’re thinking or feeling, sometimes we just don’t really know what we’re thinking or feeling! What then?
In the next chapter, I’ll show you our lists. The lists help show you what you feel and why you feel it.
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