John Ryder awakens feeling rested, refreshed, and sensing a calm vibrancy surging all through him. Hopping eagerly out of bed, he showers, dresses, and with a gleam and sparkle in his eye, goes downstairs to his kitchen and puts on some coffee.
Still feeling a wonderful composure flowing through him, he goes outside to retrieve the morning paper. And, as he has his breakfast, he begins to peruse the front page.
The recession is continuing, unemployment rates keep climbing, American job security reaching all time instability highs. He begins to feel tense, and agitated. "Why the hell does President Bush constantly send all those billions in aid to foreign countries when we need it right here!"
His morning calm now begins to shift to feelings of aggravation and discontent. And, as he exits his home to drive to work, he feels the bitterness begin to dissipate. His easy, morning calm seems to be reestablishing.
As he drives to work, he's cut off by a large cargo van. "Hey, you idiot, why don't you watch where you're going!" Now, feeling tense once again - almost vengeful - he's driving aggressively, trying to catch up to the "moron" to tell him off. But, traffic conditions won't allow for it.
Arriving at work, he's still sort of emotionally jumbled from his commute. "Well, what the hell, I've gotta get started now," he thinks with a sense of rushed anticipation.
At his desk he sees a large post-it note stuck to his phone. "John, see me right away -- before you do anything today! G.P." "Oh crap," he says. "What does my district manager want with me personally?" He now feels anxious and doubtful as he walks into G.P.'s office. And 40 minutes later he emerges; the anxious, nervous feeling he experienced before he went in is now replaced with sensations of frustration and resentment at having just been sucked into an assignment that should have been given to three individuals to share. "Man," he exhorts with futile dismay, "they keep lumping more and more on my back. I'm only one guy...what's going on here?"
His intense mental/emotional pre-occupation with his new task workload makes him late for his 3:30 appointment with marketing. As he enters the conference room, he feels as if the others see him as a flake, a "screw-up," and irresponsible. "I had to complete some important calls," he says. And after his meeting, the cold shoulder treatment he receives makes him feel as if he's unliked, poorly thought of, and an outcast.
"Ah well," he muses, "looks like it's another one of those days."
Leaving work and feeling relieved, he drives to his health club only to find the lot jammed, and cars lined up almost to the street, striving to grab the first available space. "Oh no, not again; DAMN IT!!"
Finally inside and changed, he now finds he must rush through his workout so he can shower, change, and pick up Karen for his dinner date. "RUSH, RUSH, RUSH, RUSH, why can't it ever get easier?" And, as he finally picks up Karen, instead of feeling the loving warmth he wanted to, he feels a lingering, anxious, frustrated anger which has been taking him up and down, and up and down all day.
"Hi, honey," Karen says to him with an endearing smile. "How was your day?" Almost on fire, he projects a futile, almost dejected glare and says, "Are you just saying that to be nice, or do you really want to know?"
I'm sure as you read through John's scenario, you could also relate to the emotional roller coaster he experienced throughout his day. Transcending from the soothing calm of awakening, to the angry frustration of being oppressed, put upon, and forced to wait (and all the feelings in between), it's as if your emotional state is constantly played havoc with by everything that goes on around you. Happy/depressed, calm/tense, relaxed/angered, content/frustrated -- the cycle seemingly goes on day in and day out. "Well, I'm sick of this emotional roller coaster, these continual mood swings, but I feel like a victim of my environment. It's like I can't control it, so what can I do to stop this damn fluctuation?"
So common is the preceding concern that many of my clients have asked me to devise a strategy they could implement to stop the constant ups and downs (and the debilitating energy drain it incites). Feeling an emotional slave to their environment, they wanted a way to sustain a "middle of the road" feeling and mood style, instead of regularly riding the emotional roller coaster. Not too high, not too low, but middle of the road stable. "Pete, what can I do?" they'd plead.
TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR EMOTIONS
Structuring The Framework Of Regular Stable Control
Whether my clients were athletes, business people, students, salespeople, managers, professionals, etc., everyone voiced this frustration with mood swing concerns. The strategy I developed for them moves away from trying to change or control what's experienced/going on outside of you. It deals strictly with establishing an appropriate, desired mood at the start of your day, and then re-activating/reinforcing it whenever you sense an unresourceful feeling shift, or your emotions fluctuating in an uncomfortable, negative direction.
Through this repeated positive emotional reinforcement (directly in the face of negative mood swings), you come to condition a continuance of enriching feeling to fuel your efforts throughout your day!
This process has worked magnificently for my clients, and now you can use it to eliminate the "roller coaster" and enjoy emotional stability. I encourage you to read through this entire mood swing restructuring process first, then apply it exactly as outlined.
POSITIVE MOOD INSTALLATION
Structuring The Propensity For Positive Feeling Consistency
A.) Establishing Your Target State: Upon awakening in the morning, before you get out of bed, establish the specific feeling context you sense will most directly encourage the type of inner state and behavioral expression you'd continually desire -- the feeling context which would naturally promote actions leading to effectiveness, efficiency, and task performance excellence.
Mentally explore several options here to establish the explicit feeling you sense would most demonstrably serve and enrich you. For example, you might consider:
• Absolute faith
• Success compulsion
• Fierce determination
• Triumph commitment
• Positive expectancy
• Tenacious drive to excel and demonstrate excellence
• Take charge action toughness
• Relaxed composure
• Personal power
• Joyfulness, etc.
To help establish the singular feeling most appropriate/beneficial for you, first think of 4-6 things you'll have to do/situations you'll have to engage during your day. Then, considering the preceding type feeling states - and the things you'll be doing during your day - ask yourself, "If I feel X in this situation, what will be the consequences?"
Consider several different feelings here (such as those listed), and you'll come to isolate the exact feeling which will continually serve you best! (Here, you might want to imaginatively play out mini-scenarios of yourself engaging each of the things/situations you'll have to do fueled by various different types of feelings. Through this process, you'll quickly, easily identify the specific feeling state most appropriate for you!)
B.) Anchoring Your Target State: Once you've decided upon the specific desired feeling you sense most appropriate for you, then close your eyelids down, and recall the very last time you either reflected, generated, or embodied that explicit feeling. A specific memory will quickly emerge, and when it does, then:
1. Make the picture brighter, clearer, and vividly distinct.
2. Perceptually bring it closer and closer to you — so close it's as if it's right in front of you, as if it's totally real, and your reality right then and there!
3. Then, imaginatively step into the picture, and into your body. And, looking through your eyes and feeling through your heart:
• See exactly what you see as the embodiment of this specific feeling
• F-e-e-l exactly what you feel as the embodiment of this specific feeling
• Think exactly what you think as the embodiment of this specific feeling
• Project the exact same facial expression you do as the embodiment of this specific feeling
• Physically sense exactly what you do in every part of your body as the embodiment of this specific feeling
• Breathe exactly the way you breathe as the embodiment of this specific feeling
Next, as you're breathing and reflecting all the preceding factors connected with you being fueled by your target state, firmly pinch your right thumb and middle finger together. Then (holding your fingers firmly pinched), choose a word which to you embodies this explicit feeling state. For example, you might choose Force, Strength, Power, Yes, Mine, etc.
Keeping your right thumb and middle finger firmly pinched, mentally exclaim your key word (feeling its meaning resonate within you) 5 consecutive times. Then, hold your fingers pinched for 15 more seconds, continuing to see, think, feel, physically sense, and breathe in the specific manner connected with your target feeling state.
Then, very s-l-o-w-l-y unpinch your fingers, and allow yourself to grow progressively more relaxed with every breath you take.
You've now structured a feeling activation anchor whereby firmly pinching your right thumb and middle finger, breathing as the embodiment of your target feeling state, and mentally exclaiming your key word activates the specific sensory framework inducing your desired feeling context!
C.) Testing Your Target Feeling Anchor: After you take 6-8 relax breaths as specified above, next, to become aware of just how powerful and deeply rooted your capacity to incite your desired state is:
1.) Pinch your right thumb and middle finger together firmly.
2.) Breathe as your target state breathes.
3.) Mentally exclaim your key word 3 consecutive times.
You'll instantly experience your specific target feeling state unfold, and notably surge through you. Hold this post test anchor (keeping your fingers firmly pinched) for 10 more seconds here. Then again, s-l-o-w-l-y release your finger pinch, and focus on your "relax breath" breathing.
[*This entire anchoring process should take 5-7 minutes to perform. Each time you perform it, you'll become more efficient in producing demonstrable emotional results.]
D.) Applying Your Target Feeling Anchor To Eliminate Destructive Mood Swings: Now you're prepared to stop the "roller coaster" and enjoy an experience of greater emotional consistency throughout your day. Here's how to use your target anchor:
AS SOON AS you experience your mood start to negatively, unresourcefully swing/shift, immediately fire your target anchor (pinch your right thumb and middle finger together firmly, breathe as you do as the embodiment of your target state, and mentally exclaim your key word 3 consecutive times). Then hold your fingers pinched, and imaginatively project a scenario of yourself competently, effectively dealing with the situation (you're facing) fueled totally by your target state. (Hold this finger pinch/mental effectiveness projection for 5-7 seconds. You can close your eyelids down to help here, of course only if appropriate, i.e. not while driving or engaging an activity demanding your full attention!)
Then, when you sense you're emotionally back on track, s-l-o-w-l-y unpinch your fingers, inhale deeply, and confidently proceed on.
What you are literally doing here is re-conditioning tendencies toward emotional fluctuation with tendencies toward emotional stability. You are directing your feelings and structuring different stimulus/response connections in areas you'd have allowed the "roller coaster" to just run its course!
The key here is as soon as you may experience your emotional state shift - for whatever reason - instantly employ your feeling regulation anchor—and keep yourself fueled, and sustained, by your enriching, resourceful feeling context.
The more you implement this strategy, the more spontaneous, natural, and effective it becomes in moving you to generate and sustain positive emotional consistency. (I encourage you to engage this process each and every day until you're experiencing a continual degree of emotional smoothness throughout your day!)
You can and should use this process in every facet of your life where you may experience the "roller coaster" starting to roll. For example:
• In relationships
• In business
• Dealing with family
• On the telephone
• On the job
• In the gym
• Watching TV news
• Reading the newspaper
Take initiative to keep yourself positively emotionally consistent, and you'll forever end those uncomfortable roller coaster rides!
USE IT AND PROSPER
You've now got a powerful method to foster emotional consistency throughout your day. You must use this process for it to enrich you. But very shortly, you'll experience the rewards of feeling regularly positive which accompanying feeling as you truly want to -- all the time.
Remember, from now on, when your mood may begin to shift, turn on and sustain positive power; you'll glide through your day easily and smoothly, and you'll just leave the roller coaster to rust and wither!
Note from Chris Cady:
Nationally prominent self help author, seminar leader, and personal change specialist, Peter C. Siegel was America's foremost sports and peak performance hypnotherapist. Unfortunately Peter has passed away but his work and his spirit live on.
You can review his acclaimed self help - personal success development - mega-confidence building programs at www.incrediblechange.com, or you can call 775-425-5263 to order programs or speak with his protege, sports hypnotherapist Chris Cady
The unique, results guaranteed assurance Siegel attaches to each of his programs…continues to stand the test of time!