Even positive ‘glass half full’ people like me can get down on occasions. Despite our best laid plans things can conspire against us, leaving us demotivated and even depressed.
These memories of times of trauma in our lives (where we have felt intense negative emotions and ‘pain’) tend to fade much slower than positive feelings. As a result of this when things do go wrong we automatically remember other negative experiences and this adds to our current state of mind.
So how can we counter the above and get back to a positive mind set as quickly as possible? A fantastic experience in either business or life can soon fade into distant memory and so I personally use a technique that is very simple in principle but does take time and concentration to perfect. I explain more below and please invest the effort, it will be worth it.
You can go back in time to when you had a special experience but I found it is better to wait until something brand new happens as your emotions will be more intense and not dulled by time.
When you experience something that makes you feel really ‘awesome’ take some quiet time as soon as you possibly can afterwards. If you don’t have time during the day then do it as soon as you lay down to sleep at night. During this time close your eyes and think through all aspects of what made the experience so special. Imagine the scene in your mind, paint the picture again. Replay the audio track, who said what to who and how did they say it? How did the experience make you feel? By thinking intently about the experience the emotions you felt at the time should be felt again.
Once you are happy that you have ‘recorded’ all aspects of the experience you need to ‘bottle it’. Imagine you have a bottle (see it in your mind), take out the cork and start to fill it with the pictures, words, smells, sounds and emotions from your experience. Once the bottle is full put the cork back in firmly. That’s the first part done! The bottle will then sit on a shelf in your mind and over time you will add more and more bottles of positive experiences to it.
So where’s the benefit for all this work? Well that comes in times of crisis or trauma in your life, or perhaps where you need to prepare yourself mentally for a key event. Simply check your shelf to see which of the bottles has memories best suited for your immediate needs. In quiet contemplation take the bottle and either uncork or smash the glass (choice is yours). Let the pictures, words, smells, sounds and emotions from your experience wash over you. Very quickly you will be transported back to that time and feel exactly the same way as you did back then.
Try it and let me know how you get on.
Head of Training
(Image courtesy of Pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.