I always like sharing this technique with people who are new to NLP because, apart from being really easy to do, it exquisitely highlights that the way we represent things to ourselves determines our emotional states. This process works because the human nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real event and one that is vividly imagined.
Before you go ahead and enjoy feeling great, ensure you are in a situation where it is safe and appropriate to relax for a few moments and focus you attention inside. Read these instructions all the way through before carrying them out. It is best to be standing for this exercise:
1. Close your eyes and recall a time in your life when you felt really relaxed. Maybe you were on holiday, lying on a beach, or listening to soothing music whilst chilling out on a Sunday morning. If you can’t think of a time straight away imagine a made up scenario in which you are very relaxed. What ever that thought is for you just check to make sure it is a time when you feel totally carefree and calm inside.
2. Now, as you think of this, notice how you see the image in your mind. Whereabouts would it be in front of you if you could point to it? Is it to the right or left; top middle or bottom of your internal visual spectrum? Notice also if it is a still frame picture or are you watching it like a movie? Is it in colour or black and white? Do you see yourself in the picture from a third person perspective or are you looking at it through your own eyes? Take some time to notice everything you notice.
3. Next, imagine you can take this scene from where ever it currently is and blow it up in size so that it’s now larger than life right there in front of you. In fact let it surround you so that you can even see it in your peripheral vision. And as you do this, allow yourself to notice how it naturally intensifies those feelings of relaxation within you.
4. If have not done so already, imagine stepping into your body so that you are now seeing what you saw through your own eyes. Make the image as focused and bright as you can. Increase the colours so that they become strong and vivid. Also become aware of the relaxing sounds you can hear around you, turn the volume up and really feel that delightful sense of calmness growing within you.
5. Keep yourself in this scene while you notice whereabouts in your body you are feeling the most amount of comfort. Give that comfort a colour and imagine its glowing in that part of your body. Now, focus on that colour and let it begin to flow into to every other part of you, taking with it that wonderful sense of calmness and relaxation. Send it up to the top of your head and down to the tips of your toes and, as you let the feeling get stronger, press the thumb and forefinger of one hand together.
6. Now, keeping that thumb and forefinger pressed together and holding onto that good feeling, imagine that you are now in another time when you felt really HAPPY. This might be when you were having lots of fun and laughter with friends or being involved in something special. Maybe you achieved something you were very proud of. Again, see what you saw, hear what you heard and really feel how good it felt in that situation. Make the image as bright and colourful as you can and make the sounds louder and the feelings stronger. Really associate into the scene as if you are there right now and magnify that happy sensation so that it radiates to every fibre of your being.
7. Still with your thumb and finger pressed, jump to another time when you felt DEEP PLEASURE (I’m sure you don’t need me to make any suggestions). Let yourself really exaggerate everything you experienced and add this to all the other wonderful feelings you have being feeling so far.
8. You’re getting the idea! You can carry on like this, adding more and more positive resources, as many as you wish, all the time pressing you thumb and forefinger together, and when you can’t take anymore of feeling this great, open your eyes and relax.
By now you should be feeling fantastic, and isn’t it fascinating that you were able to do this simply by directing your thoughts in the right way? If you are wondering why I asked you press your thumb and forefinger together, the reason is simply that your unconscious mind has made a neuro-associative link between the emotions you felt and the sensation between your thumb and finger. This is known as an ‘anchor’.
In the same way that just hearing a particular song can bring back feelings of nostalgia, your new anchor, when pressed, can reconnect you to the positive feelings you created in this exercise. Why not test it now?
Anytime you want to feel more resourceful in the future you can trigger your anchor and feel great on purpose. By doing this you are learning to take control of your own brain and as with any skill the more you get to use it the stronger it will get. Enjoy!