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You can decide which feelings to surf!

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

One of the most exciting and life-changing learning I took away from NLP is that you are in control of your emotions, how you react to events and how you feel about them. Emotional states last just a few seconds. After that, you need to act to stay in that state. This might be by repeating to yourself that you ought to be sad about something, or re-running the event in your head you are angry about or keep listening to the song which makes you so happy. It is your choice and you can make this choice consciously. It doesn’t mean that you are never angry or sad again. But it does mean that you can realise when you keep yourself in a certain emotion and you can choose to use tools to get yourself out of an undesired emotion.

Here are a some ways how you can change your emotional state:


Change the pictures you are making inside you head – not just what you are picturing, but how you are picturing it. Change the sounds you can hear inside your head (ever noticed what happens if you’re feeling low and you hear your favourite piece of uplifting music?)


Change your body radically – MOVE!… anything that pushes different chemicals around your nervous system. Change your posture, facial expression, breathing etc.


Change your internal dialogue or self-talk – again you can change the content or the language. How about your internal critic speaking to you in the voice of Donald Duck? Ask yourself a better quality question, instead of something like ‘why does this keep happening to me?’, ask ‘what can I learn from this situation? These are just a few of many tools to change your undesired emotional state. It does not mean never feeling negative states, but being able to be aware of them and choose your response.

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