Mastering Your Moods: How To Take Charge Of Your Feelings
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
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
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
? 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
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
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
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.
time you perform it, you'll become more efficient in producing demonstrable
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
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!
Pete Siegel is America's foremost peak performance hypnotherapist. A national
profile clinician and author, you can review and purchase his acclaimed confidence
building and personal development programs at www.incrediblechange.com">http://www.incrediblechange.com