Until I began to learn NLP,I had no idea that you can turn down the volume on the voices in your head. As soon as I found the control knob (mine is on the tip of my nose), I was able to turn the volume louder and then all the way down like on a radio, until I was left with the experience of true quiet.
Over time, I have become enlightened that there are many meditation exercises that enable you to achieve a similar result.
Here’s one of my favorites you can use any time you want to quiet your mind and re-focus your attention:
This Week’s Experiment
Count ten breaths while counting to 10. The counting occupies your mind, while you breath in deeply to stimulate the relaxation area in your lungs.
When you get to ten, smile down into your heart and enjoy the present moment.
I often ask my clients to do this exercise towards the beginning of a session if they seem overwhelmed. They almost never want to do it and they nearly always thank me after they do it.
Once you’re back in the now, here are some simple tools you can use to go out of your mind and lessen the impact of the negative voice inside your head.
1. Write it down
When I’m working on things which are outside my comfort zone, my inner storyteller kicks into overdrive. What I’ve noticed is that if I stay engaged in the process long enough, the negative voice goes quiet.
Write down the negative thought as it happens. This helps me to actually acknowledge the thought and not buy into its message. I am then free to give myself better feelings and take action from the better feelings.
2. Move it around
One technique that works extremely well when your inner little devil is speaking in ‘you’ messages instead of ‘I’ messages (i.e. ‘you’re a loser’, ‘you can’t do this’, etc.) is to change its location.
Notice where you currently hear it – is it in the back of your head? Whispering in your ear? Behind your eyes?
Next, experiment with putting it in the very center of your throat, as if you were about to actually speak it out loud. People often report that when they do this, the message changes from a ‘you’ to an ‘I’ and the voice changes from someone in your past to your own.
Finally, place the voice outside your body where you can dialogue with it from a comfortable distance. (If you see me talking to my foot ever, you’ll know why.)
3. Comfort it
One of my most successful clients swears by telling that voice inside his head to ‘#%@&! off” at every opportunity. For those of you who, like me, find that a bit harsh, ‘thank you for sharing’ works nicely, as does my personal variation – a gentle, soothing ‘shhhhh…’, like comforting a distraught child.
4.Turn It Up Or Down
Experiment with turning the volume up and down on the voices inside your head. If you’re not aware of any voices inside your head, notice what happens when you turn down the sound anyways.
Please share your feedback. I love hearing from you.