Two simple self-help techniques for peeling off small pieces of negative subconscious material
1) formulate a painful feeling, thought, problem into a sentence to take away the mental pain or gradually reduce the problem.
You can use this technique to tackle a negative theme in your life that you want to get rid of, and also when you feel bad after a negative occurrence, such as an argument you had with someone, to feel better again. With this method you peel off small pieces of subconscious negative material. You can apply it continuously to hundreds of themes in your life, each time removing little bits of subconscious material.
First a concrete example to illustrate this.
Suppose you are afraid to speak in front of groups. Try to clearly imagine the feeling of fear. You can try to evoke this feeling of fear by thinking about the problem, or you can try and recall an incident in which you felt this fear, and then clearly try to picture the fear that you felt at that time. Or imagine that you have to give a presentation in front of a group, and in doing so, clearly imagine the fear that accompanies this.
Next, put this imagined feeling into words, into a sentence, as you would formulate the sentence for yourself in your mind, in the first person (so, using ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’) and in the present tense. For example: ‘I’m overwhelmed with fear’. It is very important that the sentence formed is the right one, otherwise, nothing will be peeled off. The right sentence represents a copy of what is stored in the subconscious, and only when the contents of the sentence is an exact copy of subconscious information, small parts of it will be broken down. When you feel that it’s not the right sentence, then look for another sentence, until you feel that it is the right one.
Then you have to repeat the sentence. In this case, the sentence is ‘I’m overwhelmed with fear’. Continue to repeat the sentence until you feel a relief, or until a different sentence pops into your head, or until you feel like forming a different sentence. For example, you might feel like forming this new sentence: ‘I feel tense and insecure’. Or: ‘I will fail’. Or: ‘They will judge me’.
Continue to repeat the new sentence, while clearly imagining the feeling or the idea that goes with the sentence. Be careful not to turn into a robotic repetition of the sentence. Continue to repeat the new sentence until you feel there’s a relief or until you feel like forming a different sentence.
When you feel that you have reached a final point, start all over again. So, again, imagine the fear you feel when speaking in front of a group. Make a sentence in the first person and the present tense about the feeling as you would think it in your mind. Etcetera. Be careful not to form a sentence the way you would say it if you were telling about your problem to another person. This would not be the right sentence.
How to go about it in general.
Choose a topic you want reduce the negative aspect of. This can be a feeling, an idea, a conviction, a situation, an incident that happened, an image or a thought that keeps lingering in your mind.
You should imagine the theme well in your mind. If it is a feeling, try to feel the feeling well. If it is an idea, a situation or an incident, imagine the idea, an element of the situation or an element of the incident, and for an image look for associated ideas or feelings. In the case of a persistent thought, first try to formulate the thought itself in the correct sentence, and if that doesn’t work, look for associated ideas or feelings.
Think about the problem in order to imagine the theme. If this does not work, try to recall a memory related to the theme. If this doesn’t work either, you can try to create an imaginary situation in your mind in which the theme occurs. For example, you might want to address the issue of not having authority over your students. You can imagine this situation by thinking about the problem, or you can try to recall a memory in which you had no authority over your pupils, or you can create an imaginary situation in which you have no authority over your pupils, in the hope that you can then evoke the situation.
If there are several elements to a situation, pick one to start with. If you want to take away the pain from an incident that happened, pick one element to start with. If you feel relief on that one element, you can then move on to treat another element.
If you have to repeat a sentence for a long time without anything happening, then you probably haven’t formed the right sentence. Try to find another sentence for the same topic or choose another topic. If you do it right, you may find that the topic feels lighter after this technique has been applied (sometimes only temporarily, however).
Most people find this technique easy to work with. But others find it difficult. Some people experience that subconscious material is being stirred up, without it being discharged, and as a result they are stuck with a negative feeling. If this happens only once, it’s not a problem. Simply leave the technique be for a while, focus your attention on other activities in your life, and the negative feeling will disappear by itself. But if it happens too much that a negative feeling remains, it is better either to try again with a completely different theme, or to refrain from using this technique altogether.
This technique is simple, but powerful. If applied in the correct way, it can remove more negative subconscious material within a certain time than in an equally long therapeutic session with a therapist. So, certainly try to work with it, don’t give up right away. It may sometimes require some practice before you’ve mastered it, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you have a free technique at your disposal that can help you to fix problems in yourself and in your life.
Guide another person in applying this technique.
If you want to help another person to feel better or to tackle a problem, you can apply this technique for this person.
First you choose a theme together with this person that you want to treat. Then you explain that he or she has to form a sentence related to the theme. You explain that the sentence must be formulated in the first person and in the present tense, and you give an example of a sentence. For example: ‘I can’t stand this situation any more and it depresses me’. Explain that the sentence should be repeated until the person experiences a relief, or until they feel they want to form another sentence, or until another sentence spontaneously occurs to them. So, to start with, you say: ‘regarding ‘theme’, form a sentence’. Make sure that the sentence is formulated correctly. Then you say: ‘repeat the sentence’. And then: ‘again (repeat the sentence)’. ‘Again, again …’. If the person spontaneously says that he feels a difference or feels better, or if he spontaneously forms a new sentence, everything is OK. If the person keeps repeating the same sentence without a change, ask: ‘Do you feel it is the right sentence?’ If the person says it is the right sentence, keep repeating the same sentence, and otherwise ask the person to form another sentence. If the sentence remains the same without changing, then this technique is not working well for this person, or you or this person are doing something wrong. Then it may not be possible to use this technique for this person. Before you give up, try another theme, that might work.
If the person feels that a relief has been achieved, or if there is no other sentence spontaneously coming up anymore, then start from the beginning to form a new sentence, concerning the same theme or another theme.
2) Another way to peel off small pieces of subconscious negative material by means of sentences: repeating a sentence regarding something that is going on in your life.
This is a technique that peels off small pieces of blockages, but it doesn’t always work well for everyone. So, you’ll have to find out if this technique works for you.
This technique doesn’t peel off as much subconscious material within a certain period of time as the other self-help techniques that I described. However, this technique has the advantage that it’s very easy to do. Unless you have concentration problems, because then it’s more difficult to do. If you indeed experience concentration problems, then first choose sentences related to concentration. Another advantage of this technique: it can be applied for diminishing physical complaints and sometimes also pain.
How to go about it.
Think of a sentence related to an issue that is going on in your life or related to something that you are concerned about. The sentence can be neutral, it doesn’t necessarily have to express something negative.
I can’t keep my mind to it (concentration problems).
I can’t get this picture of that wounded animal out of my mind.
I have a lot to do.
I don’t feel like doing that work.
I want to achieve much in life.
I feel ugly.
I have a headache.
There is black magic on me, which causes me to have many setbacks.
She always has to have her way.
She handles it the wrong way.
He bits off more than he can chew.
He hurt me.
It’s a red car.
The only thing you need to do is to repeat the sentence attentively. Make sure not to do it automatically. Every time you repeat the sentence, you have to be aware of its contents. Thoughts will cross your mind, but don’t pay any attention to them, just let them pass by and keep on repeating the same sentence over and over again. Don’t say another sentence, unless a different sentence is strongly forcing itself upon you and it is very difficult to keep to the first sentence. Even then, before you change the sentence, try your utmost to stay with the first sentence.
While you are repeating the sentence, you may sense certain things. For example, a long forgotten memory may occur. Or you may see an image from your life or from a previous life. You may have physical sensations, for example a tension in your belly, or a light pressure on your chest, or a tingling in your neck. You may have mental sensations, for example a feeling of nervousness, anxiety, anger, … A certain thought may come to mind that has been activated by repeating the sentence (opposed to random thoughts crossing your mind). Don’t let these phenomena distract you, but continue to repeat the sentence. The sensations you experience are an indication that something in your subconscious has been activated. By continuing with the technique that brought these sensations about, the things that have been activated, will be removed from your subconscious. So, for example, when you become nervous when repeating a certain sentence, this is because a piece of subconscious material that contains this feeling of nervousness, has been hit. When you continue repeating this sentence and don’t quit because an unpleasant feeling has come up, then this piece of nervousness will be removed from your subconscious and the feeling of nervousness will disappear. If another sentence comes up, this means that something in your subconscious has been activated. When you continue to repeat the first sentence, the contents of the second sentence will be removed from your subconscious. The phenomena that occur are not the result of your imagination, but they are evidence of the fact that subconscious material has been activated. The phenomena don’t necessarily have to be related to the contents of your sentence.
Repeat this sentence for five to ten minutes and sometimes for half an hour. Repeat this sentence until you feel that it is, often all of a sudden, completely gone from your mind, or until it feels a lot lighter: the sentence is no longer as clearly present in your mind as before. When this phase has been reached, you no longer want or feel the need to repeat the same sentence. When this phenomena occurs that the sentence has gone completely (entirely or it feels much lighter), then you may be sure that a small piece of subconscious material has been removed from your subconscious.
When the sentence is gone, it no longer spontaneously comes to mind anymore, and when you think back to the sentence, you can feel that the issue that the sentence was about, feels different. Sometimes only temporarily, because many layers of the same issue are still present in your subconscious, but you may feel a difference at that very moment.
Next, you can form a new sentence related to this subject, or about a different subject. You may also choose the same sentence as before.
You can also choose to guide another person in performing this technique. Have the person choose a phrase and repeat it over and over again, and occasionally inquire about what the person is sensing. You let the person repeat the sentence until you think there is an end point.