Change Your Point Of View, Literally
There is something that we don’t do as often as we should that can help us find peace with our most dire issues or challenges. You know the saying ” Just put yourself in their shoes?”
Well, this takes it a few more steps further and is a much more stimulating and ultimately effective process then simply imaging how someone else may feel. Let me show you what I mean.
I want you to picture yourself sitting in the front seat of a roller coaster. Think about what it’s like to first go up and around the track, the view of all the loops and blue sky in front of you.
Imagine everything as it would be, thr0ugh your own eyes: the sounds, the speed, the overwhelming excitement pulsing through your body. This is called association.
The opposite of association is called disassociation, and this is more like seeing yourself riding a roller coaster, but not out of your own eyes. This involves a different viewpoint, as if you were a cameraman watching yourself taking the ride.
When human beings relive a painful or positive moment in their minds, they usually are in one of the two point of views. The intensity of emotions that are tied with those memories depend on which view point one is using to experience it. Let me show you.
I want you to recall a recent event that really, really bothered you and stirs up a lot of negative emotions every time you think about it. Go back to the event and imagine yourself being there, right now, feeling what you are feeling, and seeing what you are seeing.
Associate yourself with that situation and notice how you are feeling now. Not good right? Notice how you have evoked the same negative emotions that were there when it really happened.
Now clear your mind and come back to this article. That is view point most people use when they beat themselves up over something they did wrong or are suffering from an occurrence they just can’t seem to get over.
The associated viewpoint is the most emotionally intense because your brain believes it is actually experiencing that situation; and technically it is.
Now let’s go back to the same instance; but this time I want you to imagine yourself disassociated from it, and observe yourself from a distance. Pretend you are a cameraman recording the experience, and you have no part in the action of this mental movie.
Notice that this time how you don’t feel attached; notice how the emotions may not even come with this situation or that their intensity has been drastically reduced.
You may have also noticed how your mind has formed different opinions of the event and has realized some things that you can learn from it. Maybe you have noticed some ways that you could have improved the situation in your favor or possibly avoided it completely.
When you are associated into your experiences, you are less likely to be able to think clearly or even see other peoples’ points of view. Your emotions can take over and cloud your judgment, thus creating negative emotions towards yourself or the other person for a multitude of reasons.
This happens all the time to people who let their emotions run the show and it can make the mental process way more difficult than it already is.
Teaching yourself to be disassociated from your issues/challenges will help you master your emotions. You can literally imagine your problem zooming out and projecting itself on your hand and watch it play out in an imaginary movie screen in your palm.
This may sound silly, but it is an extremely powerful and effective technique that teaches your mind to put the problem ‘out there’ so you aren’t affected by it as much, while allowing you to review it from a clearer state of mind. Go ahead and try it yourself the next time you have a reoccurring negative memory to deal with.
There are multiple levels of disassociation that you can use depending on what you want to accomplish:
Your other self: This will help you keep yourself in check by stepping out of the experience and viewing it as if you were your own life coach; even to go as far as giving yourself your own advice while you imagine the situation. This will allow you to learn from your own mistakes by pointing them out to yourself.
The other person: If your compromise involves another person, imagining seeing it from their eyes will allow you to see how the situation may affect them, which can help you to realize how you are contributing to the situation negatively and adjust your approach accordingly. This may also help you gain a deeper understanding of why the other person acted the way they did.
Innocent bystander: This is imagining what it would be like seeing your experience from the eyes of a person who has nothing to do with it how the event transpired. This will allow you to detach yourself from the experience but still allow human emotion to guide it.
Non-human entity: This involves witnessing your experience from a non-human point of view, such as imagining a security camera recording the situation or being a fly who present while your situation unfolds.
As silly as this may seem, this allows you to remove all human emotion from the situation because neither of these viewpoints would warrant them, thus allowing yourself to react purely to data and logic.
Try these exercises yourself. Play around with the different points of view and watch how much you can learn just by literally changing them around. The more you disassociate yourself from the situation, the less you feel emotionally attached to it, and thus, relieves any mental anguish that comes with it.
Oh and by the way, if you want to experience a positive memory more intensely, go ahead and associate yourself into it, and enjoy the different aspects of what made those times so good.
Angelo John Gage | Elite.
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