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Author Topic: Feeling Good: Tying it all together  (Read 10143 times)  Share 

Illuminatus

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Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« on: March 07, 2011, 09:24:45 PM »
I have a phrase I've been saying for a while now:

"The kinaesthetic is the final arbiter of your personal experience".

What this means is that however you feel in your mind-body at the time is going to determine your judgment of whether an experience is "good" or "bad". So you may have the logical idea of equanimity and non-judgment, and you may be studying that concept diligently and trying to implement it in your everyday life. But the bottom line is that if an experience is making you feel bad, you will consider that a bad experience. Read that again. It means even though logically you know it's not important, the bottom line is, if you feel bad about it, you are feeling bad about it!

So what happens is people come up with all these zany ideas to stop things making you feel bad. E.g. the concept of equanimity. With many months of practice, you can stop caring about certain things. Also, life experience will make you stop caring about many things, and so will facing your fears. Then there is presence, NLP, timeline regression, "tapping", and all these other zany ways of trying to get you to stop feeling bad in response to events. The problem is that all of these methods rely on the idea that by not feeling bad, you will automatically feel good. In fact Eckhart Tolle rams home the point many times that feeling good is the default state of humans. But is this really true?

I am going to contend that, in fact, this is not true at all. The default state of the human is one of anxious threat-assessment, restless survival impulses to search for food, and raging hormonal pressures to mate.

Re-read that. I believe that is our natural state. And it accounts for every bad thing we see around us.

I don't believe we are stuck like that however, which brings me to my main point in this post. We can choose to feel good. Feeling good is a choice. And, more importantly, when you feel good, EVERYTHING FEELS GOOD. Because the kinaesthetic is the final arbiter of personal experience.

We can prove this with mind-bending drugs like MDMA, or opiates. As long as these drugs are making you feel chemically fabulous, everything in your personal experience will also be deemed as good.

WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD, EVERYTHING FEELS GOOD.

Stop a moment now and reflect over times in your life this has been true.

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Now the most important aspect of this realization is that all the timeline regression, psychotherapy-style methods -- anything that has you visiting memories, or changing reactions -- really become redundant as far as feeling good is concerned. I am not saying that knowledge of your reality model and default reactions isn't important for self-knowledge and knowledge of the human template. But it won't intrinsically make us feel good, or even necessarily stop bad reactions. Knowing you are going to be anxious going into a situation for example won't make you not feel anxious. It may give you acceptance enough to go and do it anyway, and plough through anxiety, and therefore give you some good experience and what not, and even less anxiety next time, but this self-knowledge won't actually make you feel GOOD. And since what most of us really want is to feel good as much of the time as possible, let's instead focus on THAT.

Now when you feel good, everything about your experience feels good. If you have the "GOOD" switch stuck to "ON", then everything is going to feel good, and stuff that would ordinarily bother you either won't even be noticed, or simply won't affect your state if it is noticed.

Drug addicts are all too aware of this mask that can be applied to reality.

Let's list some known ways to stick the GOOD switch to ON for long periods of time:

- Drugs, particularly the first trip on a particular drug when you are not accustomed to the neurochemical effects. For example, MDMA, when tons of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are flooding into your brain. You have no past experience of this, so you cannot distinguish between the reward effects of the environment and the reward effects of the drug. So everything is deemed to be coming from the environment, and consequently everything seems AMAZING. After a few trips however, your brain learns to take the drug into account and "minuses" some of the reward feelings from the experience to offset the effects of the drug. Clever brain. Not good for your future trips, however.

- Exercise. Do enough exercise, and you firstly have the adrenaline which feels pretty good and blocks you from thinking bad things, and then you have the opioids afterwards which feel GREAT. So you can feel pumped up after a workout or run and this GOOD switch can be stuck on "ON" for some time afterwards.

- Anything mega-rewarding which your brain interprets as a large boost to your survival/reproduction capabilities: winning money, completing some project, getting into "state" by socializing and winning some dominance battles, or by doing some successful mating behaviours with a high-value mate.

- Specific meditations, chakra exercises, or other mind-body link (Circuit V) exercises that get some good neurotransmitter releases going.

- Simply working hard all day and "feeling like you've earned it".

This last point is important, and leads to my next important realization.

----------------------------------------

The second most important realization in this post is the idea that feeling good is a choice we MAKE.

I was thinking about this this weekend after going out on Friday night, and having a really good time. It seems like this kind of night out, of spontaneous joy, flow, presence and good feelings, has seemed to happen less and less the more I've got into mindfulness and what not. The self-knowledge we discussed earlier has a tendency to actually make me focus on the bad things and my reactions to them. But meditation and stuff is supposed to make you feel better about the world, so what's going on?

Well if you aren't actually feeling good about stuff, you won't be feeling good, since the kinaesthetic is the final arbiter of your personal experience. That means if you're focusing on anything other than feeling good, your experience becomes whatever you are focusing on. Focusing on bad reactions? You become your bad reactions. Your experience is whatever's in your awareness.

I thought back and realized that almost every good time I've ever had was preceded by the intention to ACTUALLY HAVE A GOOD TIME.

I am barring just a handful of experiences from that, and those are first-time drug trips whereby experience is indistinguishable from the reward effects of the drug, as I explained earlier. However, even then, I at least approached the drug with an open mind during those first trips, rather than obsessing over possible negativities beforehand. I know of at least one guy in real life who has taken MDMA many times and never seen what all the fuss was about, even on his first trip with it. My thoughts are that these people's ability to focus on the negative is so extremely well practised that even extremely strong drugs cannot force them to judge an experience as "good".

The good news about this last point however is that I am confident the reverse can also be practised: focusing on the positive to the effect that even negative events are not even noticed or do not perturb the state of feeling GOOD.

This is what I believe Buddhists are doing when they focus on things like loving compassion. They are training themselves to release reward neurotransmitters even in response to events usually considered negative by most people.

On Friday before I went out, I was thinking about all the usual contingencies, of what I was going to do if X, Y or Z happened, when I finally just noticed myself doing this and said to myself "Do you know what? I'm not going to do this today. I am going to leave all these things to one side and just have a good time tonight, and not plan anything." I had a very good time and ended up talking to loads of new people, and having a blast all night.

On the nights where I instead do NOT put focusing on contingencies and reactions to one side, I can expect nothing to happen 99% of the time.

I realized from this that whatever you do regarding your own personal experience, feeling good is a choice we make. And when you feel good, all the other stuff doesn't matter any more. And when you feel good, other people feel good, and want to be around you.

Now this idea of making the choice is important, because if we go back to the triggers above (drugs, exercise, reward and mind-body exercises) we realize that all of those can fail IF we still choose to focus on the negative during our experience. We have all done things like taken drugs or drank too much and had "It didn't work!" moments where even that did not make us have a good time. In other words, the only thing tying the success of all these things together is the CHOICE to have a good time. The last trigger I mentioned, about working all day and deciding "I've earned it" is a prime example of this. So many of these things we do are simply EXCUSES which enable us to turn on "feeling good". Think about something like "If I just run this extra mile" or "If I just finish this project". Also think about tapping, NLP, and all this investment we make in mumbo-jumbo. Do they actually work, or do they just give us an EXCUSE to enter this state of feeling good? It should be clear from this post that I believe they are just an excuse.

The conclusion is that we should all come up with our own ways to create good feelings on purpose, and then CHOOSE to CONTINUE to feel good, and ignore anything except feeling good. Obviously some things are indeed important to think critically about, such as your finances and what not, but I am talking about general everyday vibes here, and particularly socializing, since feeling good simply turns off all anxieties and turns on charisma.

I have found that I can feel really good via some specific meditation I do where I close my eyes, sit perfectly still, then look for dark spots in my awareness and imagine them being filled in with white light till my entire awareness is lit up. There are several of these neurotransmitter releases that happen during this process which I know are happening because I get floods of white light, and start feeling really good. After this I choose to remain feeling good, and focus on the present so as not to focus on any imagined negativities.

When you are feeling good already, the state becomes easier and easier to maintain. The same way negative states are easy to maintain when they have a momentum; the inverse is also true. This is great news.

Another important thing I noticed I did on nights out and things when I was feeling good, is that in between talking and stuff, I would actually just focus on the good feelings in my body, and even close my eyes and just enjoy them. On the nights out where I wasn't feeling good, I would look for contingencies and focus on the negatives to find out why. Don't do this. Focus on the good feelings in your body instead. It makes them grow. This is why drugs are extremely helpful I believe. They give you strong good feelings to "latch onto". When you are stressed it can be hard to find some good feelings in your mind-body to latch onto and focus on. But if you do one of the triggers above (drugs, exercise, reward or mind-body exercises), you can find good feelings easily and focus on them. You can also do things like draw them up into your head and make them grow, and just start feeling really good. Importantly, the triggers should be done BEFORE you go out or whatever, so you already have some good feelings present to latch onto. I recommend we all have some triggers that come from the mind-body link so we don't need to rely on externalities for good feelings.

----------------------------------------

This, I now believe, is Circuit V in full. I feel like I understand Circuit V properly now, and whatever I wrote about it before was kind of like pieces of the puzzle.

SUMMARY

1) Find reliable triggers for feeling good, preferably mind-body link so as not to rely on externalities.
2) Do the trigger while on your own, until you have a lot of good feelings in your mind-body. This is important, because if you go out already feeling good, it is a lot easier to latch onto those good feelings and maintain them. SMILE.
3) Make the CHOICE to just focus on feeling good. So anything else except the good feelings in your mind-body should just be ignored. This is a CHOICE. When in doubt, come back to the good feelings in your mind-body, and focus on them. I find breathing in through your nose while choosing to feel good makes these feelings even stronger. Feeling good will cause you to smile, stand up straight, and do all these other attractive, high-status behaviours. Completely go with the flow of feeling good, and do not resist these things. Allowing them to fully bloom causes this state to become extremely strong and long-lasting. SMILE.
4) Stay present in between focusing on good feelings. Since anything that happens while you are feeling good will be interpreted as also being good, it makes no sense to daydream.

When I am having a good time I am purposely avoiding things like mindfulness and equanimity because frankly these things make me feel like SHIT and LIFE IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 05:00:02 PM by Illuminatus »

joviaal

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 10:45:43 PM »
"- Anything mega-rewarding which your brain interprets as a large boost to your survival/reproduction capabilities: winning money, completing some project, getting into "state" by socializing and winning some dominance battles, or by doing some successful mating behaviours with a high-value mate."

YES, and the reverse is also true! When I have to get stuff done for my studies and I slack on them I feel very anxious, when I finish them I feel really good about EVERYTHING. It's simple as that :)

Failing to do something is rationalized as a threat, doing it is SURVIVAL. Even though you know it doesn't make sense, because you'll still be alive after you didn't do it. It's not enough to completely cure the discomfort and still feel awesome.

"This, I now believe, is Circuit V in full. I feel like I understand Circuit V properly now, and whatever I wrote about it before was kind of like pieces of the puzzle."
I've heard you say stuff like this before, that you think you DO UNDERSTAND something now...... your beliefs have changed very often after that though. Believe me, what I have held consistent for a while, for more than a year... is that everything can change someday and might not be true.... It's only true right now for you....  ;) I think like that most times whenever I have an 'epiphany' and wait a few weeks before I try to think I have new wisdom. Most times I realize it was just a temporary state of mind, true for the period I was in. There's only a few beliefs which have lasted for longer than a year in my life and those keep returning to be true in many situations :)

Sorry for going a bit off-topic. I like your post though, I don't know whether this is a step to truth, but at least it has the power like those other methods, to temporarily make you feel good by believing the model works and practising it :D
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 05:01:24 PM by Illuminatus »

Illuminatus

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 11:06:17 PM »
Quote
Sorry for going a bit off-topic. I like your post though, I don't know whether this is a step to truth, but at least it has the power like those other methods, to temporarily make you feel good by believing the model works and practising it :D

I think the power behind this post is in revealing that every time you felt good, it was a choice you made in that moment to feel good. People get so caught up in reliance on externalities to feel good. But at the end of the day it's the intention behind it that shapes an experience.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 05:01:58 PM by Illuminatus »

Bliss

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 11:06:29 PM »
One of the best if not the best post ever on PPM.

aelephant

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 02:52:28 PM »
Illuminatus, are you familiar with the opponent-process theory?

http://gettingstronger.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Solomon-Opponent-Process-1980.pdf

There is a good discussion of this here:

http://gettingstronger.org/2010/05/opponent-process-theory/

Bliss

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 03:09:07 PM »
When I am feeling great usually I am not focusing on anything until I suddenly get this shooting realization through my body of "i'm feeling great".  Followed by a dopamine spike which my thoughts consist of "yes, I fucking do I'm a winner" (then I want to air box lol).

Charlie Sheen put that in your pipe and smoke it ;)

Illuminatus

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 06:01:38 PM »
Illuminatus, are you familiar with the opponent-process theory?

http://gettingstronger.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Solomon-Opponent-Process-1980.pdf

There is a good discussion of this here:

http://gettingstronger.org/2010/05/opponent-process-theory/

Fantastic links. I read all the second link because I find those technical abstracts hard to read.

I recommend everybody to read the second link.

Having begun regular intense exercise now, I can already see the opponent pleasure process in action as a background tone, exactly as he describes.

nurag

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 06:10:56 PM »
Nice post.
I am focusing on feeling good everytime I am going to work and coming home from work for some weeks now.

In my experience the feelings get stronger. Of course, your mind/body adapts and you don't feel that they are stronger.
But your charisma and well being will rise over time, as the connections in your system are made more stable and grow.

That are my observations from the last days, because I am starting to recognize people watching at me.
It's very subtle at the moment, but I am sure it will grow.

I imagine all the feelings as a scale. For better explanation the good feelings to the top and the negative feelings at the bottom.
The higher you push your capability for pleasure, the more your threshold for negative emotions goes up to.
The whole bandwith stays the same length, but is climbing higher on the scale.
So you become unable to feel certain negative feelings, because it is getting easier and easier to stay in good feelings than to get into these negative emotions your system starts to forget about.

nurag

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 06:31:56 PM »
I forgot something in the post above:
Does anybody have to belch while pushing the good feeling higher and higher?

I have that problem and people around me sometimes notice it and comment on it.
I then have to stop the positive feeling to stop the burping.

Bro Bag

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 07:50:08 PM »
Quote
The default state of the human is one of anxious threat-assessment, restless survival impulses to search for food, and raging hormonal pressures to mate.


I'm not sure I agree with this completely.

I think the end goal of all human life is to continue existing. Since life 'knows' it isn't inherently going to exist, it tries to continually improve itself at survial. Of course, surviving and continuing to survive can be extrememly difficult, depending on the enviroment (aka what you percieve the enviroment to be).

Which is why I have this pet theory that people are not inherently 'unsatisfied', but rather that they are continually trying to move from unsatisfied (SNS, something is wrong in the enviroment/with me) to satisfied (PNS, nothing is wrong. Perhaps everything is good, perhaps it just is, perhaps it isn't. In any case, no threats detected). In short, people will actively seek to eliminate their own needs, if they think they have any.

So say you wake up feeling something (baseline). Then your stomach rumbles (stimuli),  and you interpret it as either overall good or bad (this is the part I'm the least sure about). If you think the stimuli is good (yay! empty stomach! I'm getting skinnier! Skinny is good!), then your baseline moves more towards PNS, if the stimuli is seen as bad (no! empty stomach! starvation! death! bad!), then you move down towards more SNS. So when all stimuli are set to good (either because you think they're good or because you've fixed them from bad to good, ie eat some food), what happens?

You either seek more stimuli (advance) or, alternatively, if you don't want to/ think you can't seek more stimuli, you stay where you are and wait (ie, slow down, sleep, hibernate, grab a spliff and play some video games, watch TV, golf, in short, enterntain yourself with what you have).
So if we think of things as 'situations' (I notice French people and Italians tend to do this more than the English, possibly because they think more holistically than the English), humans act according to the following basic model:

Scan Situation.

Notice stimuli.   
 
Respond to stimuli.

Repeat.

How quick a human does this depends on a variety of factors, the most important one being your heart rate, IMO. Which means, that if all stimuli are viewed as good (ie, the situation could be you, with a full stomach, inside a castle that you are 100% sure is secure, having sex with multiple partners you find high attractive), then your mood will be 100% 'good', and vice versa.
The only problem that could affect you if you're in a situation with nothing but 'good' stimuli, then, is anything that YOU bring into the situation (worries about the future/past, irrational fears of certain stimuli, ect.).
If you go into a situation, and see only good stimuli, then it's logical to assume that you'll go to each one getting your needs met. Once your needs are met, your C4 will kick in, and you'll try to meet the needs of those who you consider to be your 'tribe'... assuming your need for domination is already completely full (ie you are your tribe's leader, or have no problem submitting to the current leader). A bit like Maslows Pyramid, in short. Help yourself first, and once you can't be helped anymore, help those closest to you. Then those closest to them, and so on.
The problem with most people is:
1) Due to a bad enviroment, they can't be permantly set on good (but most get around this through finding some form of escapism: drugs, clubbing, music, film, art, ect.)
2) They tend to have a horrible knowledge of their needs. The few remaining untouched (or relatively untouched) hunter-gatherer tribes in the world tend to spend (at least for the males) a few hours a week hunting (SNS), and the rest of the week relaxing (PNS). Compare that to modern humans, who are told they must work (be in SNS) from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday, and, even once they finish working, are bombarded with both negative stimuli (urban decay, bums, all the shit parts of a city), and advertising to make them think that getting a useless product will help them fufil your needs (I'm sure that the reason most men drop boatloads on expensive clothing isn't because they actually appreciate each garment as an art piece, but rather because they've been fooled into thinking you should get your sexual needs met by dropping 5 grand on a suit rather than 50 quid for a hooker).

TL;DR:
SNS - need more, uncomfortable, 'bad'
PNS - have enough, comfortable, 'good'
While SNS may be the default state for humans in the Western world, I think this is caused by our enviroment, and probably runs counter to our genetics.
PS: re-reading my post, I think I just rephrased what you said: since you can chose how you interpret stimuli, you can chose to make yourself feel good. :/

Illuminatus

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 08:50:24 PM »
So say you wake up feeling something (baseline). Then your stomach rumbles (stimuli),  and you interpret it as either overall good or bad (this is the part I'm the least sure about). If you think the stimuli is good (yay! empty stomach! I'm getting skinnier! Skinny is good!), then your baseline moves more towards PNS, if the stimuli is seen as bad (no! empty stomach! starvation! death! bad!), then you move down towards more SNS. So when all stimuli are set to good (either because you think they're good or because you've fixed them from bad to good, ie eat some food), what happens?

...

TL;DR:
SNS - need more, uncomfortable, 'bad'
PNS - have enough, comfortable, 'good'
While SNS may be the default state for humans in the Western world, I think this is caused by our enviroment, and probably runs counter to our genetics.

The problem with making SNS equate to "bad" and PNS equate to "good" is that it doesn't hold up for many experiences.

-Going on a rollercoaster is inescapably SNS by its very nature. However, some people are terrified and will deem this experience "bad", whereas others find it thrilling and deem the experience "good".
-Physical exercise can feel good, and that is SNS by nature.
-Orgasm requires SNS, and this is usually deemed a "good" experience. :)

So there is a psychological component as well as the biochemical component of an experience.

What I am saying in this post is that we know enough about this now to make the choice of changing the psychological component to "This is good" whatever the experience.

Does this mean you are going to be tricking yourself into enjoying EVERY experience? No. Getting run over by a car or whatever is not going to be pleasant, whatever psychological trickery you attempt to apply to it. Nor would you want to believe getting run down is something "good", lest you encourage it.

But for everyday things, such as socializing, you can switch that psychological component to enjoyment by choosing to do so, and that's what this post is about. Blinders to possible negativities are actually a good thing. It doesn't pay to notice the negative so much in life. Having blinders, by choosing to feel good, is the cornerstone of charisma.

Quote
PS: re-reading my post, I think I just rephrased what you said: since you can chose how you interpret stimuli, you can chose to make yourself feel good. :/

Yeah, what you were talking about is the default state of humans (Circuits I-IV). I'm now saying we know enough about all of that, we know the limitations of the previous circuits, we've all been through enough situations to see them in action, so now let's choose to transcend them and feel good on purpose (Circuit V).
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 08:52:28 PM by Illuminatus »

MannySter

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 03:32:38 AM »
Brilliant as usual Illuminatus., I just wanted to add something for everybody else. Make sure to focus on "feeling" good and not just "acting" like you feel good. Otherwise your back where the dudes at RSD are at. (the fake it till you make it works but make sure the end goal is feeling good and not looking like you feel good).

This is all easier than I thought. I said "feel good" and I started to feel good. Will it always be this easy or will we develop a tolerance to this like most other "mind tricks" and constantly need to develop new "feel good" reference points. Or is that exactly the kind of thinking I need to avoid?  :)

Illuminatus

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 11:31:20 AM »
Brilliant as usual Illuminatus., I just wanted to add something for everybody else. Make sure to focus on "feeling" good and not just "acting" like you feel good. Otherwise your back where the dudes at RSD are at. (the fake it till you make it works but make sure the end goal is feeling good and not looking like you feel good).

I agree. At the same time however, acting like you feel good can be a trigger for actually feeling good. I've found that smiling is a really strong trigger. Especially smiling and concentrating on feeling good even through stuff that used to bother you.

Now I used to look down on this sort of thing. If someone was smiling to hide secretly feeling some trauma, or discomfort, I would consider that phony and that they are lying to themselves and others for their ego's sake. I took it as a sign of weakness and an unwillingness to face the truth.

However, having spent at least the last 2 years fully feeling emotions, trying to understand them, integrating them, and what not, I can say that all this gives you a really strong understanding of yourself and your reality model, and therefore the models of other humans too, but it does not in itself actually make you feel good. My view now is: I've seen enough. I understand enough. I know what is real and what isn't. I know where the lies and delusions are in most people's models. Now I want to feel good on purpose despite all that, and I have the mind tools to actually implement it, so why the fuck not? Also I want to start getting what I want in life, and feeling good seems to be pretty much the #1 way of doing that.

Quote
This is all easier than I thought. I said "feel good" and I started to feel good. Will it always be this easy or will we develop a tolerance to this like most other "mind tricks" and constantly need to develop new "feel good" reference points. Or is that exactly the kind of thinking I need to avoid?  :)

The honest answer is I don't know yet.

However, the point of the post is that you do not rely on externalities for your state. It's a choice you make. So I would say it's the kind of thinking to avoid.

Aldous

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2011, 12:54:52 PM »
A good way to avoid that kind of thinking is to use focus phrases, an idea I picked up from a book by John Selby. Focus phrases differ from affirmations in that you aren't lying to your self ("I feel good I feel good I feel good" when you feel like shit for example) but your guiding your attention away from negative thought loops ("Will this last? Will my brain just get used to it?") and back into the kinaesthetic. So for example, if you find yourself doubting you draw in a slow breath and say to yourself silently (or out loud if no one's about or you just don't give a toss) "I am aware of the air passing through my nose". Hold that sense impression for a breath or two then say "I am aware of movement in my chest and belly". Hold both these impressions for a breath or two then say "I am aware of the sensation of my heart". Expand your awareness to include your heart as well as the breath for a few beats then say "I am aware of my whole body, here and now", relax with a full body impression (and a by now much quieter mind) and then the final one - exhale a complete breath, hold it out of the body as you say to yourself "I give myself permission to feel good!" then inhale deep and focus in on the good feelings. I've found in my experience that this works well if you catch yourself going down the feeling lousy spiral. It's something about the phrasing "I give myself permission to feel good" rather then just "I feel good" that seems to bypass the brains "but you can't feel good now - your at work and you hate that" mode. It also works better when you've activated circuit V earlier in the day and want to give the good feelings a boost in a situation where you can't apply your usual methods. :)

aelephant

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Re: Feeling Good: Tying it all together
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2011, 02:35:25 PM »
I'm sorry to be a naysayer, but I'm skeptical that it all just boils down to a choice.

Reading this, I was reminded of this quote:

Quote
The subconscious operation of habits has several implications. Habits may continue long after their original rationale has been forgotten or repudiated. Because they entrench modes of conduct rather than ends in view, when the environment changes, they may produce different results than originally intended. They also elude direct control by conscious willing. The idea that we can control our bad or misfiring habits by sheer willpower is a form of magical thinking, because it imagines that willing an end is sufficient to achieve it. A conscious end — the control of habit — cannot be achieved without grasping the means that can bring it about. Because habits operate behind our backs, we can't maintain a constant awareness of them with the aim of checking their operation at all times. We must resort to indirect means, especially alteration of the environment, to check an unsatisfactory habit. Moreover, we can reliably produce alternative results only by acquiring a new habit. Discovering the means required to change habits requires psychological and sociological inquiry, not just conscientiousness and willpower (HNC 21–32).

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dewey-moral/


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