6 Mind Tricks to Help You Change How You Feel

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Unhelpful thoughts only have as much power as you give them. If you give them too much importance, you reduce the chances of being the best you can be in certain situations and contexts.

There are a number of tricks from the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which you can play in your mind to overcome niggling doubts, or worries or to help ensure you’re in the best states possible in your daily life. Below are 6 tricks you can begin to use today:

Push that problem away

Problems exist in your mind because of negative thoughts you have about yourself and the world you live in. You can experience doubts, fears, frustration and anger, which keep eating away at you.

Rather than holding onto such thoughts in your mind, use your cognitive ability to push them away on the screen of you mind, so that the power they hold over you diminishes.

Just observe that negative thought as it moves further, so that you can no long see it.

Has the thought come back again? Then keep pushing it away into the distance.

Make the problem a small dot

If a thought is overbearing and you feel like it is a heavy weight on you, make it a small and little black or white dot, so that you can’t even see it.

When you make it this small, how does the significance of the thought change?

Make yourself bigger

Sometimes in your thoughts, you can see yourself. This is almost like being an actor inside a movie. If you’re looking and feeling unconfident in a thought, then make yourself taller and bigger.

Just observe how you feel when you’re now 40 foot tall and towering above everything and everyone in the thought. Now smile as you look down at your surroundings.

How does doing this make you feel?

Add the quality you want to the thought

You can change the way you feel for the better, by adding a quality (or resource) to a thought that is holding you back.

For instance, are you feeling unassertive in a thought you’re having, and feel like you need to boost your assertiveness?

Remember a time when you were assertive. Do it now, vividly as if you’re having the assertive experience again, right this minute. When those feelings of assertiveness are super strong, now apply this assertiveness to the thought you’re having.

Keep pouring the assertiveness onto the thought, until previous negative feelings about you have now been replaced with assertiveness.

Model someone else

You’re already improvising and playing different characters every day, depending on the activity you’re doing at a particular moment.

If you’re harbouring an unhelpful thought in your mind that is making you worried or leaving you feeling inadequate, then adopt the position of someone you know who can handle the situation you’re concerned about, without any problem.

Look at the world through that person’s eyes. Adopt the body language, words and behaviours of that person.

Notice how your confidence levels change and how what you do changes when you’ve modelled another person.

Create a New You

If a particular thought is causing you problems, then become the complete opposite of who you are and what you’re doing in that thought.

You can do this by creating an image in your mind of the perfect you, who wouldn’t have any issue with dealing with the problem you’re facing.

Once you have created a really juicy image of you, keep bringing this image to the fore of your mind, so that you what you do is from the position of this new you.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• In what other ways can we use our ability to imagine and think to change the way we feel?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.

 

Photo Credit: Aming01

20 Comments
  1. A very helpful post just for anyone, Hiten!

    Thoughts are what decide our mental state and if they’re negative, then you’ve had it. And you’re so correct when you say that “unhelpful thoughts only have as much power as you give them”. We’ve to learn how to not give that power, by knowing how to raise helpful thoughts.

    You’re right – negative opinion of yourself and self-doubts can really take you down. You’ve mentioned some great NLP tricks and I’ll surely try them out.

    Sometimes when you’re empowered by unhelpful and negative thoughts and you feel helpless, you need to become an “actor”, as if you’re in a movie and force yourself to act positive as per the “script” you’re given. You might with time associate and involve so deeply with your “act” that you’d adopt the behavior in reality.

    Thanks for these wonderful tricks and for spreading this awareness. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m really glad you found the post helpful, my friend!

      I loved what you said about how thoughts determine our mental states. This is so true and whatever we think, we end up sending powerful messages right across our bodies to feel emotions.

      Indeed, a way to not give power to negative thoughts is to do what you said and learn to raise helpful thoughts.

      What you wrote about becoming an actor was excellent. When we see ourselves in the movie playing the part we want to, we begin to send messages to our mind-bodies that this is how we want to be in the world. We can then take it further and do what you stated, which is to associate into the person we’re seeing in the movie, in order to powerfully evoke our senses to really experience the way we want to be.

      Thanks so much for adding so much more to this post, Harleena! 🙂 Have a great rest of the week!

  2. Very practical tips, Hiten, as usual in your work. I’d add that, if the negative thoughts have to do with our reactions to other people, there are a few things to do. First, feel compassion for them. What must they be feeling to be acting like that toward me? Secondly, picture them being my friend, instead of my foe. We’re in this together. Thirdly, realize that I’m projecting my own insecurities on the other person. And my insecurities are products of my ego fears. Thanks again for another important topic!

    1. Hi Alice,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this topic! I really do appreciate you sharing your wondeful tips to deal with negative thoughts about our reactions to other people.

      What you said about feeling compassion is so important and really is a transformational practice. By putting ourselves into other’s shoes, all sorts of new insights, which previously we couldn’t see, now become evident. I loved what you also wrote about joining up with the person rather than being against him/her. Again this is such a great state shifter.

      Indeed, the point you made about looking back at our own egos is brilliant. By doing this, we learn about areas where we need to make improvements and it also helps to us to keep our own words and actions in check, in the future.

      Thank you so much for leaving such as fantastic and wisdom packed comment, Alice! Have a great week. 🙂

  3. THanks for sharing the powerful NLP tips Hiten and showing us how they can change how we feel and essentially change our lives!

    The suggestions you’ve given show how flexible we can be with thoughts. We don’t have to suffocate by the gravity of them. Sometimes we just make the problem or thought like a dot,, sometimes we notice from the sky where the thought seems small and insignificant.

    Modeling is a great example to help us change thoughts and our way of thinking. Also helpful to help us make other changes in our lives. We can rely on mentors to help us think differently and give us roadmaps & shortcuts to achieve more in our lives.

    If more people realized the power of thoughts and our ability to change them, there would be more positivity and happiness (and less depression and sorrow) This is a must read for anyone feeling stuck or feeling crushed by their thoughts.

    For me, I’ve tried to make my thoughts into smaller dots and also tried to look at the thought from an objective third person. I step outside my self and evaluate if the thought I’m having is reasonable or nutty:)

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      Indeed, as you quite rightly said, sometimes such shifts, which can be created reasonably easily, can have life changing consequences. I wish schools taught kids some very simple cognitive techniques to help then take charge of their thoughts and beliefs. I’m sure it would help them as they got older.

      I loved what you wrote about modelling and mentors. I love modelling mentors I’ve had in the past. The great thing about modelling others is that we can model anyone we know who has the behaviours, attitudes and skills we want to develop at different stages in our lives. It could be leading, parenting, playing a sport etc.

      Vishnu, I can so resonate and truly appreciate what you wrote about more people realising the power of thoughts and learning to change them. It goes back to what I said earlier about teaching youngsters when they’re at school. Otherwise, we end of learning to do so in adulthood and through self-development. And even that is a minority of people. So many people will just float through life, without ever having learnt to how to control their minds, which is a shame.

      Thank you so much for leaving such a wonderful comment and for sharing the ways you use to play around with your thoughts. What you wrote about taking the perspective of a third person is another great way to instantly gain new insights, and change the way we feel.

  4. Hello Hiten,
    Thank You for this. Being bigger than the “problem”, I find helps a lot. Imagining a better You or better picture of your life with better circumstances allows your mind to experience an alternative to your current circumstances. When you can “see” a different picture, your feeling also changes. That’s a good start … you still need to finish it off with positive follow up action.
    It all starts with a change of thought Hiten which I am sure you are aware of.
    Thanks again my friend.

    Be good to yourself
    David

    1. Hi David,

      I’m really glad you liked the post, my friend and thanks for your words of appreciation.

      Thanks very much for enhancing this post so much further, with your comment.

      I loved what you wrote about imagining a better You and allowing ourselves to see alternative ways of being. Indeed, as you quite rightly said, when we see a different picture, the way we feel changes, too. I think everyone would do a great service to themselves, by understanding and then practicing this. Absolutely, as you stated, this is the first step and needs to be taken further with action.

      Exactly, David! It all starts with a change of thought. If we want to change the way we feel, then we can change our thoughts.

      Many thanks for commenting and for sharing your great insights.

  5. Great points, Hiten. Modeling someone else can assist by looking at how they would solve a problem or have overcome a challenge. Reading biographies is a great way to see how others dealt with various life challenges. It helps us find out we are not alone as well as making changes can happen. Thanks, Hiten! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      Thank you for commenting and for especially sharing your views on modelling.

      I’m such a big fan of modelling. It reminds me of a key NLP premise, which is that if a feat is possible by one person, then it can be replicated by others through modelling the attitudes, thoughts, and behaviours of the person.

      I loved what you wrote about reading biographies! Such stories can be a great source of inspiration. Indeed, it gives us evidence that others who may have experienced difficulties, went on to achieve great things.

      Many thanks for your excellent comment, my friend.

  6. I’ve read an article on New Scientist that says that scientists in Sweden have effectively made a virtual reality brain-switching machine. Damn it, Cracked, why aren’t you on this? It’s baffling. Mind-blowing, even! (In other “Damn it”-related news, that sounded entirely too much like Snagglepuss.)

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    1. Hi Priya,

      The article you read sounds really interesting! I love hearing about fascinating stories researching into the brain and how it functions.

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  7. Great tips as always Hiten. I also like Alice’s suggestions about how to manage feelings when they have to do with someone else. Up until a few years ago I occasionally found myself inexplicably experiencing this instant intense dislike of certain people I met. It took some time and serious reflection but I discovered certain characteristics reminded me of someone unpleasant from my childhood. Awareness didn’t entirely eliminate the response, but it certainly minimized the reaction and made it much easier to handle.

    1. Hi Marty,

      I’m really glad you liked the tips, my friend.

      I really appreciate you sharing past experiences with dislike of certain people. I think it’s great that you were able to pinpoint the reason back to your childhood, which then helped you to deal with this issue. When I determine problem to be rooted in childhood, I usually use the ‘adult frame’ and look at the situation as an adult who now has the resources to deal with the problem.

      Many thanks for commenting.

  8. Great post Hiten,

    Pushing problems away is so crucial. This is a great thought about problems: “Problems exist in your mind because of negative thoughts you have about yourself and the world you live in.” What we think and our self talk greatly impact our actions and attitude. Our outward life reflects our inward life. Being intentional about thinking positively and having good self-talk is so important for anyone to do. Great post and thoughts!

    1. Hi Dan,

      You made some excellent points in your comment, my friend.

      What you said about our outward life reflecting our inward life is so true. Whatever thoughts we entertain in our minds manifests in the outside world.

      I loved what you said about pushing away problems. I like to say “no” to limiting thoughts and beliefs and say “yes” to empowering thoughts and beliefs.

      Many thanks for adding so much more to this post, Dan.

  9. Lovely practice of NLP at play here. I like the idea of making your problem into a black dot. I am new to this and I have to say this works beautifully. Can we combine the two ways (the dot and pushing it away from you) together to get the best of both tricks.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      I’m really glad you liked the NLP concepts in the post. The approach of making a problem a black dot really does work wonders. It’s great to hear that it worked for you, too.

      Indeed, you certainly can combine creating a dot and pushing it away together. That is the beauty of NLP. One can play around with her/his mind in anyway and experiment with what changes help in making a person feel better, and which changes don’t work so well.

      Thanks for commenting, my friend.

  10. Great Post Hilten!

    I do agree with your points what Adopting the nature and lifestyle of someone is a good way to make a change. One thing. I want to share that we shouldn’t give up. The problems are the part of life. We should stand up and face them instead of giving up and if we think that nothing is impossible for me then I think we could do anything what we want.

    Mostly our works depend on our intentions if we think positively, we will get positive results. Positive thinking can make a change in our life.

    Thanks.

  11. such a nice and informative post and blog too bookmarked blog…

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