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Submodalities

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Submodalities are the sights, sounds, smells, sensations and colours that are the building blocks of your Internal Representations. By changing these as we picture something, we can affect how we feel about it.

Sit down, relax and think about a pleasant memory (it can be recent or from the distant past, it doesn't matter). See everything you saw then, hear everything you heard, feel everything you felt. Now try to notice the various submodalities.

•  Is it a still image or a video?

•  Are you in experiencing the memory through your own eyes (i.e. are you actually there, reliving it?) or are you watching it as if it's on a TV screen.

•  Is the volume loud or soft?

•  Are the sounds clear or indistinct?

•  Is it mono or stereo?

•  Inside your head or external?

•  Is it hot or cold?

•  Any other sensations?

•    What emotions do you feel?

Is it black and white or colour?

•  Are the colours bright or dim?

•  Is the image clear or blurred?

•  Is it bright or dim?

•  Is it surrounded by a frame or border, or is it panoramic (i.e., all around you)?

•  Is it life size, bigger or smaller? Far away or near to you?

•  Which angle are you viewing it from?

•  What sounds can you hear?

Now think about an unpleasant memory. As an exercise, we are going to change some of your submodalities and see what effect it has. First, if you are viewing the image as if through your own eyes (this is know as being associated), step out of the picture and view it as if on a screen (dissociated). Does this have any effect? Most people will find the negative emotional state is lessened slightly.

Now make the images black and white. Now make them duller, weaker, less distinct. If the image is panoramic, (i.e. if it you turned around 360degrees it would be all around you), place a frame or border around it.

Send the image far away. Halve it in size. Halve it again.

Make the sounds quieter, fuzzier, in mono. Take away the soundtrack in the background. Reduce any sensations you feel - heat, pressure, etc. Make any smells less distinct.

You will find that some of these changes affect your state and decrease the unpleasant sensations, while others have no affect whatsoever. That's fine. Different submodalities work differently for different people. If reducing the volume has no effect, don't do it. Some people react more to images, others to sounds or sensations.

Imagine you have a remote control in your hand, and you can adjust the volume, pitch, colour, contrast, brightness, etc., at will. You can 'freeze frame' or put it on 'fast forward.' It's your remote control,so adjust the settings just how you want them. If it gets too loud, lower it; if it's too bright, make it slightly darker. Create the image and sounds that are perfect for you and optimise your emotional state.

The majority of people find that if they make the image smaller, unfocussed, dimmer, black and white and farther away they power of the negative memory is reduced. The same if they make the sounds quieter, more indistinct, slower.

This exercise should have demonstrated just how easy it is to alter your emotional state just by changing your submodalities. When you conjure up a negative memory from your past, your brain responds just like one of Pavlov's dogs by immediately producing certain images, sounds and sensations.

If you accept that, you are letting your brain run your life. The alternative is to refuse to do so, and drain all the strength and power from those memories by consciously changing your submodalities.

Now let's give it a go with your glossophobia and do the exercises.

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