There are loads of ways you can change your emotional state.
When you feel positive, you take positive action.
One of my favourite ways is by anchoring (or linking) a positive emotion to an action, so that whenever you do that action you feel that emotion.
This is an advanced technique which is very effective for accessing any positive emotion whenever you need it. This is a really useful tool, because it is our emotions which impact our behaviour.
In our life, there are certain things which automatically lead to certain responses. For example, we all stop and look before we cross the road (hopefully…). Certain songs take us back through time to memories linked to them. Even certain aromas evoke memories and feelings – for example fresh bread makes many people feel cosy. In these examples, all of these things (the road, the song, the aroma) are ‘anchors’ for certain actions or feelings.
You can create an anchor on purpose using the following steps:
- Think of a positive emotion you want to feel (e.g. ‘confident, happy, calm, motivated)
- Think of a time where you felt that emotion strongly. If you can’t recall a time, imagine yourself feeling that emotion strongly.
- Take a deep breath or two, close your eyes, and really enrich the memory you thought of. Think about what you are seeing, what you are hearing, what you are feeling and really build these up as much as possible. When you have made them as strong as you can, touch your forefinger and thumb together for a few seconds and keep repeating the positive emotion in your head. This is your ‘anchor’.
- Well done. Take a break.
- Repeat step c) and d) a few times. The more practice the better. The brain creates links through heightened emotion – something you’re building up in step c) and through repetition (it probably took your parents a few goes to drum the ‘stop at a road’ response in you!)
- Practice again every now and again. The anchor will lose some power over time as the brain makes space for new information.
- Use your anchor whenever you need it.