Psychological Self-Help

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1230
Paradoxical intentions
Emotions can be changed by doing the opposite of what you want.
If a dirty house really bothers you, re-double your efforts or, the
opposite, try for dirt, i.e. let the house cleaning go for a couple of
weeks. If you are terribly upset by a "B" (since you usually make A's),
you could try to get B's until you no longer considered it terrible. If
you are afraid of rejection, you can keep asking for dates until you find
out it isn't awful to be turned down. If there is some idea or thought
that really upsets you (like someone being homosexual or your partner
flirting with someone), have thoughts about that occurrence until you
are no longer bothered. The process is like flooding (method #6)
where one's attitude changes from "I can't stand that thought" to "OK,
if I'm going to get up tight with that little thought, then I'm going to
make up a fantastically disturbing story this time. I can take it." See
chapter 14. 
Express the emotions you want to have
In 1872, Darwin suggested that free expression of an emotion
intensifies it. Suppression of the outward signs of an emotion reduces
the feelings. Thus, it may be helpful to replace an unwanted emotional
expression with another more desired one: a frown with a smile, a
bowed head with a raised one, down cast eyes with good eye contact,
a slow gait with a quick, peppy walk, a stressed expression with a calm
one, etc. 
Although we have had 120 years to research this notion, we
haven't done much and our knowledge is still not very useful.
Obviously, the constant suppression (denial) of some stressful emotion
may not be easy or healthy. Yet, there is ample evidence that many
(most?) people are not consistent in their expression of their
emotions, i.e. our verbalized feelings don't correspond well with our
physiological state nor with our appearance (facial expression, body
language, voice quality, and so on). Frankly, we're pretty damn dumb
about the consequences of pitting one part of ourselves against
another in order to change how we feel. Conventional wisdom would
say a body in harmony is ideal, but perhaps these parts of ourselves
are controlled by independent parts of our brain and consistency
doesn't matter (and one part can't control another part). It is needed
research and it isn't difficult. You'll just have to try it out yourself. 
Useful General References (most are not in bibliography)
Averill, J. R. and Nunley, E. P. (1992). Voyages of the heart:
Enriching your emotional life. New York: Free Press.
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