Lately I’ve tried to turn it into a habit, to end my day by mentally going to a favorite place. I have always believed that it’s not a good thing to go to sleep feeling worried, angry or stressed. That feeling will affect your whole night and the quality of your sleep and dreams.
But if you can use a trigger associated with a good feeling that can help you change your mood very quickly. The thing about a trigger is that you make a strong connection between a thing, a gesture, an image or a sound/song and the wished for feeling. To make the connection with a thing is not that preferable though, because if you lose the thing or forgot to bring it, you can’t connect to the desired feeling. But a gesture, like rubbing your ear, crossing your fingers or gently holding your elbow is good, as well as a vivid image in your head. For this particular “good night feeling” I have taken a memory from a recent vacation: I see this little bird on the ground looking at me. I look beyond the bird and I see the beautiful beach in sunset. I go to the beach and sit down in the warm sand. I can feel the wind and the sun on my skin and I strongly experience a feeling of inner harmony and lack of stress.
It’s important to make the image and the feeling connected to the trigger as real as possible. What do you hear? What do you see? Where in your body is that nice feeling? When you have done this connection a couple of times you only have to use the trigger gesture, see the picture (the bird with the beach in the background, in my case) or sing a bit on the chosen song.
So eventually I only have to picture the bird in my mind, and my body automatically makes the connection to that nice feeling connected to that picture. That’s a quick thing to do just before you go to sleep!
Now I like that feeling of harmony so much that I actually think about that bird when I’m sitting in a taxi, waiting in line at the grocery shop or waiting for my old computer to get up and running. Once you start using triggers you will find it very convenient. I have another trigger (casually holding my left thumb) that I always use before coaching someone (to make me incorporate all the good values of a wonderful coach that I have put into that trigger), and yet another that I use when I want to feel in full control of a project and at the same time full of joy, harmony and exhilaration (I see myself in a red dress at such a perfect occasion many years ago).
Do you have any recurrent situation in your life that would benefit from a quick mood upgrading?