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Author Topic: Generating a positive emotional state (step-by-step)  (Read 3869 times)  Share 

Illuminatus

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Generating a positive emotional state (step-by-step)
« on: August 04, 2011, 01:00:29 PM »
I am going to just write what I did this morning as a stream-of-consciousness type thing so you can see the kinds of ways I generate positive emotional states.

Being able to generate a positive emotional state at will is one of the most important things everyone should learn how to do. There are just no excuses. If you want to be successful, you need to know how to do this. It is the difference between going out in the mood you were already in and letting the chips fall where they may (if you're grouchy, you'll get grouchy responses) and putting yourself in a great mood THEN going out (at which point you'll get GREAT responses). Or making yourself feel good before a job interview because people like happy people and you are more likely to get the job. Or starting a project happy because it makes work a higher quality and makes you more motivated. Being able to put yourself in a good mood is a matter of making the most of your time here on planet Earth. Do you want to spend more time being a slave to your mood, or more time enjoying more success through good emotional management?

So here is how I generated a perfect positive emotional state this morning, and how I generally do it. Rather than trying to make it all sound logical or whatever (like I did in the book), I will literally write the thoughts I have while doing it so you can see the process, and hopefully realize the emotional nature of such a thing, and take insights for yourself from actually trying to do it.

1) Sit down on bed. Feel whatever you're already feeling. So this is the feelings in your body, in your head, etc. I was feeling a little bit "bleh". Unsettled. Unfocused.

Keep your focus mainly in your body, seeing how the body is feeling, since that is where all the action really takes place (the mind likes to take credit a bit too often). While feeling how you are already feeling, by focusing on the sensations in your body and head (but mainly body), you will feel energies start to shift, before finally settling in some more organized, pleasant-feeling way. You may also see your vision swirling along with these shifts. All completely normal. Take any event that happens during meditation as completely normal, and go with its flow, rather than resisting ANYTHING. That is rule #1 of meditation. Focus on breathing and just feeling what you're feeling.

Whilst "feeling what I'm already feeling", my thoughts go down to pretty much zero the whole time. I just let my mind-body do its thing. Let it order its energies how it wants to. Not fighting it. So I will spend around 20 minutes with no thoughts -- just feeling my mind-body and letting it do what it wants. If you struggle with turning off thoughts, there is only really one rule, and that is to just feel the body. Practise until you begin to see the gap between thoughts. Eventually you will be able to expand those gaps to 20 minutes where you are just feeling, which is what I'm doing here. Practice is everything. I do NOT want to hear "I can't do ittttttt!" I have no sympathy. It took me many months before I could do this. If you practise with just feeling yourself in your own body, you should have quicker results than that (I had no teacher to tell me these things).

2) After around 20 minutes of feeling how I already feel, I will reach a point of neutral stillness. The energies will have stopped moving about so much and I will feel calm and contented. Thoughts are still zero, and vision and clarity of perception has improved greatly (I do this in the morning after my shower and it helps me set my mindset to clarity for the rest of the day). I would describe this as "centred". I could happily get up at this point and go about my business, and would feel contented in what I did. However, this post is about happiness and generating positive states, which are a lot more useful for social interaction (99% of the human experience), so we are going to continue on to the next step here.

3) So I am now in a neutral mood. I have reset myself to zero, and now I want to climb into the positives. First thing I do is smile slightly. I smile and find where the resistance is. Now if there is no "reason" to be happy, you will probably resist changing your mood to happy (this is the Conditional Happiness Worldview, which I discussed in my book). That's normal. Now here is what to do about it. So you begin to smile, gently at first, and feel for resistance in your facial muscles. This for me occurs in the muscles around the eyes. I will now begin massaging those muscles, whilst increasing the size of the smile to "fit" the areas I have unblocked. I will start feeling quite good at this point, and will become more aware of how nice my breathing feels (before this my opinion on breathing would have been neutral).

I now feel for where else there is tension and resistance to the smile. This could be areas in my head-- I feel these as "dark spots". If I imagine the brain, when fully "on", as completely lit up, the areas of tension and resistance are areas which aren't "on", and they stop me smiling fully and feeling good. I feel for these blocks inside my head, using my smile as a reference point (if it's not liking becoming a bigger smile, there is still a "dark spot" somewhere, and I just have to look to find it). What I do then is massage these "dark spot" areas physically on the area of the scalp above them (if they are inside my head), whilst breathing in through my nose, and imagining white light/energy filling up these dark spots. After a short while, these areas are now also "on", and I start feeling a LOT better, and my smile is no longer being resisted hardly at all. At this point I focus on the growing feelings of feeling good. I "see" the brain now as this big screen slowly turning white, with my breathing filling it up with more and more good energy, and I might "see" or "feel" some dark spots still. I continue breathing, enjoying, and "feeling" or "seeing" white light enter these dark spots on every in-breath, filling them up, turning them on (I have synaesthesia at this point so it's neither seeing nor feeling, it's both at once). Sometimes while doing this I will have strange sensations such as a feeling of falling or a rushing sensation of neurotransmitters entering my brain, or a feeling of detachment from my body or temporary paralysis, and all these kinds of things -- it is important you just LET THESE HAPPEN. They are a GOOD THING. And if they don't happen, if you are feeling good at the end, it still worked, so don't worry about it. :)

I know I am done when I'm smiling naturally, with no resistance, my brain feels entirely "turned on", much like a saint has a halo around his head, and I feel great and full of life. If I catch a look at myself in the mirror while in this state, I will have the bright-eyed, healthy look I used to have while on drugs such as MDMA. If I go out in this state, I will definitely have fun, whatever situation arises. While in this state I am very present, and it doesn't take much to maintain that other than just focusing on the environment, or focusing on my breathing, or focusing on feeling good, or focusing on having fun. The point is, stay out of past/future projections, but staying out of them is a lot easier in this state.

Please try yourself and let me know how it goes. :)

I also recommend doing it in the morning after showering, in order to set your emotive tone for the whole day. I found that if I ever tried to activate this state for a specific reason, e.g. going out to talk to girls, then I would have inconsistency in being able to activate it. In other words, give yourself lots of time to do exercises such as these, and try to avoid doing them with any particular outcome in mind. If you're going to a job interview for example, don't wait until 1 hour before it to do this exercise, or you might freak yourself out by putting too much pressure on yourself, therefore blocking the process (although I am sure you could learn to do it at will with enough practice, but for beginners, try not to pressurize yourself too much). Instead I would do the exercise in the morning, waking up earlier and setting aside plenty of time for it, then get out and about and enjoy the day through enjoying the presence and good feelings that this exercise brings.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 01:16:48 PM by Illuminatus »

aelephant

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Re: Generating a positive emotional state (step-by-step)
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2011, 03:23:53 AM »
I tried to do this the other day but wasn't too successful. I felt more centered and calm than usual, but I definitely did not get into a euphoric or extremely happy state. I am going to try it a few more times, focusing more on the first part (setting to neutral). I think I glossed over that part too quickly and rushed into making myself happy. When I was making myself happy, I had trouble feeling my smile as "natural". I kept thinking it felt forced and would look fake (I suppose if I was still having thoughts, I was not ready for this part?) I also had trouble visualizing my head with lights in it, but I could clearly imagine a white gas coming in with my breaths and flowing up and swirling around in my head - that felt good.

The other thing I noticed was little waves of euphoria/orgasmic energy. In general, you say to look forward with your eyes unfocused to turn off any cues. I noticed that my eyes wanted to "roll up" toward the top of my head when I was breathing. If I let them, I got these waves. Is this useful or should I avoid this?

Any tips/feedback aside from what I've already noted?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 03:27:23 AM by aelephant »

Illuminatus

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Re: Generating a positive emotional state (step-by-step)
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2011, 10:43:54 AM »
I tried to do this the other day but wasn't too successful. I felt more centered and calm than usual, but I definitely did not get into a euphoric or extremely happy state. I am going to try it a few more times, focusing more on the first part (setting to neutral). I think I glossed over that part too quickly and rushed into making myself happy. When I was making myself happy, I had trouble feeling my smile as "natural". I kept thinking it felt forced and would look fake (I suppose if I was still having thoughts, I was not ready for this part?)

You are wanting too much too quickly. This desperation becomes frustration which prevents this process occurring naturally. Meditation really is about foregoing the quick fix, foregoing frustration, and developing patience, in order to let these processes develop naturally in their natural order.

I understand that you've read the technique, now you want it to work immediately. That's the magic-pill thinking we've all been conditioned with in a society which focuses on quick fixes. However, this is a process of diligence. It takes time to learn and apply correctly. There are NO quick fixes when it comes to meditation.

You are right -- you have too many thoughts, which means you are not yet allowing yourself the time to enter the no-thought state (which comes from allowing this process of feeling what you're already feeling). You should not have many thoughts at all by the time you begin the happiness part of this meditation. You need to do all of this in the right order for it to work in a complete way. I recommend you keep working on achieving this neutral/no-thought state. Even if it means sometimes taking an hour or so to get there. It's very much worth it, for your happiness and your life in general.

Also, take expectations out of the equation. You have an idea of what "happiness" should look like, and this is no doubt conditioned by society and by your life so far. It is probably based in pleasure and euphoria rather than a feeling of deep content (deep content is RARE in this society, else consumerism would NOT WORK). Instead, assume you don't know what happiness looks like yet, and that this exercise is here to teach you, through experience, through trying it, what natural happiness looks like FOR YOU.

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I also had trouble visualizing my head with lights in it,

It is easy to misinterpret my post and infer that I am actively visualizing this, i.e. making up images in my head to get a result. My writing was probably not very clear on this issue, since it was stream-of-consciousness and I cannot take into account everyone's misinterpretations.

To clarify, I am NOT "visualizing" something to get X result. I am not making up an image of my head lighting up -- it is ACTUALLY lighting up. If I close my eyes, I see bright, still light, where before it was dark. I believe it correlates with a neurotransmitter release.

This is the same way that if you close your eyes whilst sticking your head under a cold shower and going into thermal shock, you will ACTUALLY see many swirls of shapes and colour occurring in your head. I believe we can see our own neurotransmitter releases in this way. I believe being able to see them happen forms a biofeedback mechanism whereby we can control our own states through seeing and allowing the neurotransmitter releases. To clarify: because we can see the neurotransmitter releases, we can relax, or do things with our bodies and minds, until we see the releases taking place, at which point we know that what we are doing is right and conducive to neurotransmitter release.

So I am not "visualizing" my head lighting up, it is actually happening as a result of the way I am focusing my mind, and the way I am doing that is described in the post.

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but I could clearly imagine a white gas coming in with my breaths and flowing up and swirling around in my head - that felt good.

I don't think you are imagining it -- I think you are actually seeing it because it is happening. So this bit is a good thing and shows you are doing something right. :)

This shows the synaesthesia that occurs between vision and feeling in the meditative state. Is it an imagined white gas, or is it a witnessed neurotransmitter release? The truth is it is both. :) Sensory representations are all tied together and can have two-way communication (feeling itchy, you might witness ants for example). Meditation strengthens the quality of this communication. When in my deepest states, there is only consciousness, and things like a car passing by will be represented in ALL sensory representations. I will "see" and "feel" the sound.

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The other thing I noticed was little waves of euphoria/orgasmic energy.

Great! Now let those pulse, flow and grow unimpeded. "Let" being the operative word -- you are already beginning to feel good, now you just need to let that express fully.

Let them go where they want and do what they want.

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In general, you say to look forward with your eyes unfocused to turn off any cues. I noticed that my eyes wanted to "roll up" toward the top of my head when I was breathing. If I let them, I got these waves. Is this useful or should I avoid this?

PERFECT! The eyes should roll upwards, and often go crossed. You may also get spontaneous REM (rapid eye movement). The important thing in this meditation is to let the mind-body do WHATEVER IT WANTS connected with this process. You are getting floods of pleasure and reward neurotransmitters. If you watch someone injected with drugs, or having an orgasm, their eyes also do this.

I will have to write a revised version of the post listing all these things too. So thanks for your feedback.

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Any tips/feedback aside from what I've already noted?

- Spend more time achieving the neutral/centred/no-thought state -- this goes beyond pleasure. This is about effectively demonstrating to yourself that you can recover from ANY emotional disturbance. You will get quicker at this with practice, too. Then you will be out in the town centre, or somewhere with lots of things going on, and something may happen which irks you a little bit, and you will spontaneously find your brain reminding you that you know you can emotionally handle anything, and find it spontaneously doing the same process to have you recover. And it just ends up getting quicker and quicker with practice. That is what the training is for -- so these coping mechanisms become automatic, and more efficient and effective, resulting in you being centred pretty much all the time. This, right here, is the core purpose of meditation in my opinion. Stick with it. The happiness meditation will flow with a lot more force and effectiveness once a reliable centre has been found.

- It sounds like you're doing pretty well with the pleasure/happiness state, so my only advice is to let it do its thing, interfere less, and allow it to express itself exactly how it wants -- so let your eyes roll back, let your muscles spasm, let anything and everything it wants just happen.

The fact you got to this state on your first attempt tells me that this post is definitely transmittable information which will help people quite quickly and in a specific way. So thank you.

You are really close to cracking this, now keep going! :)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 10:55:40 AM by Illuminatus »


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