Can we Really Control our Emotions?
They seem to have a mind on their own as they rule our lives and dictate how we’ll act.
Easily enough, if we have a basic understanding of how our brains are wired, we can use this knowledge to ultimately re-wire our emotions to our advantage.
Let me introduce you to the power of Creative Visualization.
What is Creative Visualization
Creative Visualization is simply the process of imagining the desired end result. This may seem odd but our brains cannot distinguish the difference between real or imaginary. If something takes place in real life it affects our brains in a tested, measurable way. If we imagine something and run those same tests, our brains also show them being affected in the same, measurable way.
Take a look at the research discovered at Harvard Media School. A group of students were asked to practise the piano in the traditional way while another group was asked to practice only by thinking. The transcranial-magnetic-stimulation (TMS) testing resulted in both groups showing a physical change in the brain structure.
Designed By God
Creative Visualization has been around forever, it’s how we were designed by God. In fact, Hebrews 11:3 says that all things that are seen come from things that are not seen. This is true in many areas but let’s examine a few.
This is an incredible discovery if you would take a sec to think about it. All things living came from a seed and that seed was inside another seed, which was inside another seed and so on. It’s easy to see how a real, living, tangible object actually comes from something that was once invisible.
How about the things man-made. These dream creations existed only inside the invisible realm of the imagination until mankind formed them into something we can physically see.
This is wild.
Create your Emotions Intentionally
Our emotions and feelings can be created in the same way. If you want to feel differently in a situation, see yourself feeling differently in that situation. If you want to act differently under pressure, see yourself acting differently under that pressure.
Now you don’t imagine something once and the change is there, it takes time, practice, effort an consistency. Just like practising a sport, a new instrument or learning any new skill.
Who Does This Stuff Anyways?
Did you know, Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 major golf championships said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head.” He goes on to share this inner picture and all the steps the ball will take in great detail.
Matthew Nagle, a man paralyzed in all four limbs uses mental practices to transform his entire way of life. He has learned how to use a mouse, control a robotic arm, open his email and so much more…. all while having a silicon chip implanted inside his brain.
Natan Sharansky sought out to become the worlds best chess player while in solitary confinement, just by practising mental visualization. Lo and behold, in 1996, Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov.
Using Creative Visualization to Shape our Emotions
Habits are formed by repeating the same processes over and over again. If we act intentionally in a certain situation this act will become habitual, normal and natural. We can train our emotions in the same way.
- Imagine yourself remaining calm, cool and collected when an angry individual is speaking irrationally.
- See yourself letting an offensive remark roll off your back and not letting it bother you.
- If you are about to embark on a day that you know will invite stress and overwhelm, see yourself intentionally holding your emotions together.
My Could-Have-Been Stressful Outing
The day we were celebrating the life of my father (he didn’t want a funeral) I had some errands to run. Last minute items, in and out of stores, long lineups, many hours of driving around… all while lugging around my four children.
I knew to go into the day that this was the perfect concoction for a stressful, emotionally overwhelming day. However, I pre-decided I was not going to let that happen. I pre-saw my children complaining, fighting and even possibly having a meltdown. I saw the long lines before we even life the house. I proposed to be joyful and talkative to whoever was next to me in line, despite having a million errands and being in a hurry. (Isn’t that the worst?)
Wanna guess how my day went? Just as I planned. The children whined and complained as any children would under the circumstances, but I held my own. I kept my emotions intact and didn’t allow myself to get overwhelmed under the circumstances. Actually, I’d even dare to say the day went well, even though I was forced to share my tears with gravity.
“She has Clearly Done this Before”
“She has clearly done this before,” were the words – I was told – a wife whispered to her husband a few moments after I took the stage. When he told me this I laughed because it was actually the FIRST time I spoke on stage. But that’s not entirely true, I was truly comfortable up there because I have been there before. I’ve been on many stages before… in my mind.
I have known for most of my life (can’t believe I’m old enough to say that) that I was a speaker and teacher. And although I have led countless workshops and small groups I have never spoken professionally from the stage, until then.
All the thoughts I’ve had of me speaking wasn’t even intentional, it’s just the reality of who I’m called to be taking over my mind and that day, it showed.
How I Keep My Cool When Walking Into Conflict
This is probably one of the most beneficial tools I have learned in my marriage. I knew that I wanted to control my anger during a disagreement. I wanted to speak respectfully, be in control of the tone in my voice and not allow my emotions to jerk me around.
One way I have been able to accomplish this is by being intentional when I walk into an upsetting situation. I would tell myself beforehand that no matter where the conversation goes, I will hold my own. I will not let my emotions run wild, I will keep a tight leash on my tongue and tone and I made a point to speak intentionally and respectfully.
Now don’t get me wrong. It took time and much practice before I was successful at doing this. I failed many times but I kept at it and would try again next time. It’s funny how opportunities to practice always came around. I still have a ways to go, by no means do I want to sit here pretending to be perfect, but I have made such tremendous progress you’d think I’m a different gal altogether.
Will You Be Intentional?
Creative Visualization is a tool you can use to help you manage your emotions. Managing your emotions is ONE SKILL you need to learn order to create your dream life.
In my FREE online course I outline THE FIVE SKILLS you must have to create your ideal life.
If you would like to enrol, you can do so here.