Emotional Imagination was developed by Maultsby in 1971 and is one of the most effective techniques used in psychology..
It consists of using the imagination to face a situation, experience the emotions it evokes and make the appropriate modifications. To use this technique correctly, you must follow the following steps:
- Try imagining an emotionally upsetting situation that you want to overcome, imagine it in the worst possible way. Think of one of the worst situations that can happen to you, such as a certain project going wrong, being rejected by people relevant to you, or having serious health problems. Imagine this event in the most real way you can, imagine the details, live it intensely. Recreate every detail. If necessary, close your eyes to imagine it.
- Now try to feel as intensely as you can that inappropriate emotion that you normally feel at this. Focus on that emotion, be it anxiety, anger, depression, panic, self-condemnation, or self-pity, feel it intensely. Get in touch with this inappropriate emotion, try to get it to reach the highest intensity possible.
- Once you have managed to feel this inappropriate emotion intensely, for example feeling anger at having been treated unfairly, hold it for a minute or two feeling it intensely and then try to transform that inappropriate negative emotion into another emotion, also negative, but more appropriate . Try to find some, for example while visualizing that you are being treated unfairly, try to change your anger and rage into a feeling of disappointment and sadness at being treated this way. Usually it costs a bit, don't give up, don't be discouraged, give it a real try until you get it.
- As you work to change your disturbed emotions to appropriate negative emotions, make sure you do not change the triggering event, it must be the same, it is very important, try to imagine it vividly, with many details. Try to change your emotions in the face of being treated unfairly, do not try to see that deep down the way they treat you is not so unfair. It's about changing the emotion, not the circumstance that makes you feel that emotion. Think that they are really treating you very unfairly.
- Avoid using distracting techniques such as relaxation, meditation methods, etc. in this exercise. to change your emotions. We try to make you have to face the irrational ideas that are causing these emotional alterations to change them and in this way achieve an emotion, also negative but much less pernicious and inappropriate than the previous one.
- Work hard on changing this inappropriate emotion. Forcefully and repetitively tell yourself the appropriate rational idea. For example: “Yes, it is true that they are treating me unfairly. I wish they didn't, but they do. There is no reason why you MUST treat me fairly. It is something desirable, something I want, but it is not a law, an obligation. I can detest such behavior without condemning the person who does it. If I can not get too upset by it, maybe I can tell that person, appropriately, how much what they do bothers me, and maybe stop doing it that way. But if I don't succeed, it doesn't matter, in the future I will try not to give this person too many opportunities to treat me like this. For now I will bear it. " These are the kind of rational thoughts you should encounter.
- If you do it correctly, you will see how it takes only a few minutes to change your inappropriate emotion for a more rational one. Remember that it is you who creates that emotion by maintaining irrational ideas. Look for them, strive to change them to achieve an emotion, negative but appropriate that does not incapacitate you and that allows you to change the situation before which you are upset, if it is possible to change it, or to live reasonably with it if it cannot be changed.
- Once you've done it, try to remember how you did it so you can do it again in the future, whenever necessary. Remember that you are the cause of your emotional problems and therefore no one better than you to remedy it. Apparently this seems like a condemnation, a curse; Nothing is further from the truth, in fact it is a blessing, fortunate that we have the key and the solution to our emotional disturbances ourselves. In this way, nothing and nobody can alter us if we do not allow it..
Emotive Imagination, practiced repeatedly, is one of the most effective techniques used in psychology. It takes consistency and dedication, but the results make it worth a try. You must do it at least once a day for several weeks to achieve improvement in a specific disorder. Do not be discouraged and be constant, your emotional well-being deserves it and your health will thank you..