© 2019 Serena

When you find yourself in a situation where you are already being driven by your emotions but you would like to change direction it can be extremely difficult to retake command of the brain and emotions mid-event. This technique of cognitive dissonance is a way to side step this difficulty. After an emotionally charged experience, people are often able to recognize that their behavior was inappropriate or disproportionate to the first order data. As progress towards self-mastery advances, people often report reaching a point where they have this recognition during the experience itself but find themselves helpless to change course mid-event. Not every technique works for everyone so assuming you aren’t able to use the “just let go” technique, you could try this one. 

Because the brain cannot handle two different instructions at the same time, it gives us the opportunity game the system, as it were. So while you are in an emotional situation (or, as with the other techniques, you can also re-imagine it later and practice it) say to yourself, over and over again: “I allow myself to feel [insert the emotion present, e.g. anger], I allow myself to let go of my [anger].” The brain then says, “well what do you want? When you make you your mind, let me know, and in the meantime I’m not going to do anything” and the emotion will dissipate. Notice that you must have given your brain the command to be [angry] or you wouldn’t be experiencing that emotion in the first place. And now you are commanding it not to be [angry] at the same time. How do you know it works? The emotion dissipates. Often there will be a sigh, a feeling of tension in the chest or shoulders releasing, then the breathing returns to normal rate.

Cognitive Dissonance Meditation

A Meditation to Retrain Your Brain for Happiness

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