Every emotional state needs a cause or a trigger - something sensory that stimulates the mind to respond. It may be a new situation or it may be one that the mind has experienced in the past. The response is expressed in physical changes that affect both mind and body.
To demonstrate that for yourself, think of something that gives you the chills. Is it the sound of fingernails or chalk being squeaked on a chalkboard? Once your mind recalls that image, sound or feeling, your body is likely to develop goose bumps, or do whatever else it does when you "get the chills".
If your mind can generate that response to that stimulus, it can learn a more useful or appropriate response. You can change your emotional state.
Fear is nothing more than a response of the body's systems to whatever stimulated that emotional state. In effect, when it is no longer useful for you to feel nervous before an important meeting, you will stop being nervous.
Through a process of imprinting a trigger, individuals can learn to trigger desired emotions.
Any sensory experience can serve as a trigger. A song. A certain scent. A specific movement or touch. An activity. When we imprint a trigger, we link the trigger to the desired emotion.
Following are the steps for imprinting triggers to tap into desired emotions:
Choose desired emotional state. Identify which emotions you would most like to access.
Choose a trigger. Since you'll want to easily access your trigger, it should be a trigger that is always available to you. Some people carry around "good luck charms". For others it may be a lucky item of clothing. Some choose a favorite scent. Other a food item. For others, a touch such as touching your thumb and baby finger together.
Access emotional state. You can do this either by imprinting the trigger while you are actually in the emotional state or you can access it in your mind and body at any time. Can you change emotional state simply by thinking about it? Absolutely. Simply by thinking about food, you can access the emotional state of hunger. Similarly, when you watch a scary movie, even though you are not in a scary situation (you are probably sitting on your comfortable sofa with a beverage of your choosing) you access the emotional state of anxiety and fear simply by watching someone on the TV screen experiencing a scary situation.
Imprint trigger. Engage the trigger for the entire time you are in the desired emotional state. Once the emotional state begins to descend, release the trigger.
Break state. Think of something completely non-related that requires some thought. Reciting your telephone number, the alphabet or your social security number backwards is a good method for breaking state.
Test trigger. Simply engage the trigger to see if the desired emotional state returns. Naturally, the more frequently we imprint the trigger, the more easily we can access the desired emotional state.
Engage trigger as needed.
Access the emotional state by using your trigger whenever needed and as often as necessary.
As you release tension, you should assume increasingly confident postures. Don't lean on anything. Don't even shift your weight to one foot. Keep your body evenly balanced. Leaning creates pressure. Pressure causes muscle tension. Tension brings about stress and the problems could worsen.
The old, "chin up, stomach in, chest out, eyes straight ahead" advice still works. That's the stance of a confident person. To that you should add a balanced stance, knees slightly bent, shoulders relaxed and jaw tension released.
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