You are looking down the barrel of a gun, standing in the path of a tornado (both figuratively, we hope), or about to embark on the most difficult journey of your life, yet you are calm, cool and composed. You are the picture of focus and tranquility...
Is this really possible?
Scientific evidence says so.
Past research has found that people can alter and control the activity levels in their insula -- a brain region important to emotional processing -- when shown images of their “neurofeedback” from MRI brain images.
Even more strikingly, researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany found that even psychopathic criminals were able to raise and lower the activity in their insula when they saw their brain activity measured on a thermometer-like scale.
What does this mean for you? It means that you can control your emotions.
True, you may not see your temperature rising on a screen, but you will feel it via the tension in your jaw, the racing of your heart and the rapidity of your breathing. YOU know when you are about to lose your cool.
And you also have the power to keep it if you follow these six steps.
- Take a deep breath. Now take another. This very primal act, when done slowly and deeply, will relax your muscles and take some of the edge off.
- Learn how to release your emotions. This is the key tenet taught in The Sedona Method, and it is all about getting back to your instincts. You inherently know how to throw negative emotions out of your body as easily as you can toss a baseball.
Children do it all the time (ever notice how kids can be arguing and then best friends again in five minutes?), but you have likely forgotten how. The Method will show you how to regain this crucial skill so that you will always be in control of your emotions, and not vice versa.
1. .. "Now let go of your expectation of having a problem or a bad reaction to the upcoming situation. Your anticipation often causes you to experience even more trauma than the event itself, and tends to get you prepared for a problem," says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates.
2. .. Be sure you re not preparing for a problem. Don t expect one, don t imagine what you ll say, don't fret over the outcome. Why?
3. .. "When you prepare for a problem you are often unconsciously a little disappointed if it does not go the way you expect," Dwoskin says. "So you may actually inadvertently cause the problem just out of your expectations."
4. .. Use positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you are calm and composed, and you just might start to believe it.
5. .. Let go of wanting to maintain your composure. Now, this may sound counterintuitive, but if you bear with us you will find that it makes perfect sense.
You see, instead of wanting to be calm and cool, it is better to simply accept what is. Accepting the feeling, whether it is “good” or “bad,” is actually the only way to be sure that it doesn’t gain control over you.
“It is much healthier to simply allow yourself to let go before, during and after the situation, and then simply act naturally and as appropriately as you can,” Dwoskin says. “If you are wanting to maintain your composure, you are already resisting what is or what is about to happen.”
And this is the first step to allowing the situation to escalate.
Now, let’s review. The next time you are facing a tough situation -- a yelling boss, your screaming 2-year-old, any tense situation applies -- here is what to do:
- Take a deep breath
- Use The Sedona Method to LET GO of the idea that there is or will be a problem.
- Instead, expect the situation to be just fine. And tell yourself that it will be a great experience.
- Now let go of even thinking about your composure. Accept what is. Follow the words of John Lennon and “let it be.”
- You will find that the once-tense feelings you had about the situation have melted away, and been replaced with ease, serenity and poise.