Mind Drama

Mind Drama is the dramatic argument we sometimes have with our subconscious. It is a trick played on us by our subconscious in order to keep our defenses intact. But since every goal of therapy is break down self-limiting defenses, we need to learn how to get out of these Mind Dramas.

Advertisements

The trick of our subconscious to lure us into arguments with it and how to get out of such situations.

When conscious and subconscious start arguing Mind Drama happens

We all experience certain negative emotions that are difficult to control or remove. It is true, probably, that we can never be entirely free of our anger, envy, jealousy, fear, and other negative emotions. However, for some people some of these negative emotions become too much of a problem. For instance, some people seem to be inherently jealous of everyone. Some are always fearful. Some are very short tempered. Each of these person faces a tough time in controlling these emotions.

One of the reasons these are difficult to control is because our subconscious mind plays a trick on us. I call it the Mind Drama. Remember the times when you had an emotional internal argument with yourself? One part of you would want to control the negative emotion while the other part of the mind keeps giving arguments to support your negative emotion. This is mind drama – a dramatic conversation that you run with your subconscious.

For instance, you hear a friend of yours has been promoted. You suddenly start feeling jealous and insecure. A part of your mind keeps giving reasons why your friend does not deserve that promotion or it keeps comparing you with your friend and says you are better than him and so on. You try to negate these thoughts by arguing with that part of the mind. No matter how the argument ends you only succeed in suppressing those emotions for the time being.

The trick that the subconscious plays here is luring us into the argument, because no matter what is the outcome of the argument, the subconscious wins. It has won the moment you began arguing with your subconscious.

You may ask why does our subconscious throw up these emotions in us or support it. The answer is that the emotions are coming up because of some root belief and the subconscious supports it because it cannot discriminate what is right or wrong. It just makes true the belief. In the above example, the person could be jealous because of some security issues in past where they formed a limiting belief about their progress or capacity. Hence they see everybody else’s progress as a threat to their growth.

So what is the solution for this Mind Drama?

Simple, don’t get into one! Just refuse to let your subconscious pull you into the argument. And if you suddenly find yourself in a Mind Drama, simply get out of it.

Understand the subconscious will try everything to tempt you into the Mind Drama. It will bring up the most provocative arguments and juicy imagination. Just remain firm. And keep getting out of the dramas whenever you find yourself already into it.

By getting out of them consistently, you slowly gain control over your subconscious in that area and it starts co-operating with you. You will also be clear on your core issue instead of being misled into petty issues. You will have more time to focus on finding and resolving your core beliefs.

Suggested Articles: Anger vs Me, House of Cards Effect, Frustration, the Shortcut to Failure

Photo Courtesy: Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos

Anger Management – Part 4 – Anger vs Me

Anger is the reaction you choose to give to any situation. It is not the situation or the person who is responsible for your anger. So it is not ‘Me vs the World’, rather it is ‘Me vs Anger’. Unless you have this firmly ingrained in your understanding, working out anger out of your personality altogether could be nearly impossible.

We are finally at the last part of this anger management series. Those of you who followed all the posts I hope you did find some useful nuggets for practical application. For those of you who haven’t read the previous parts you can read them here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Move away from 'Me vs World' towards 'Me vs Anger'

One of the important points you need to keep in mind while working with your anger is to understand that it is your reaction. When you react in anger, no matter what the provocation is, you have chosen to be angry. It is very easy for us to blame others for our anger. But if you are determined to resolve your anger issues, then you need to be very aware that anger is your reaction.

What does this imply? It means the issue is not between you and the person that made you angry, rather the issue is between you and anger. It is Me vs Anger, not Me vs the World. Only with this understanding will you be able to really uproot anger entirely out of you. All the previous techniques I gave you will help reduce your anger and uncover your root issues. But without this ‘Me vs Anger’ awareness you will only succeed temporarily; your subconscious will always harbour the idea that it was another person who made you angry.

What’s the next step? Don’t get into Mind Drama. What’s a mind drama? Ever noticed that when you try to control you anger you sort of run a dialogue with your mind? We tell ourselves that the other person is not worth it, we need to calm down, and maybe we are interpreting the situation differently. And your subconscious mind keeps giving counter arguments. This is what I call Mind Drama – a dramatic conversation that you run with your subconscious. And the subconscious always wins. You may succeed in controlling your anger at that moment during such conversations, but it is still there suppressed.

In a Mind Drama the subconscious always wins! Because the subconscious does not care if you succeed in that particular argument, it just wants you into the argument! The moment you are into the Mind Drama, the subconscious has won. The trick here is to totally ignore the subconscious at the moment of anger. Don’t enter into any conversation with it at all. The subconscious will continue to dish out more luring arguments but just steer clear of the drama.

Imagine your anger to be another person and think he/she is trying to engage you in a conversation to trick you. The moment your subconscious mind gives reasons why you need to be angry, just wag your finger at this imaginary person and tell him you are not falling for that trick.

It takes an effort in the beginning to be able to stay out of the Mind Drama but soon after it will become a habit. So just remember the formula ‘Me vs Anger’. This will save you from messing up your relationships.

Photo Courtesy:  Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot @ freedigitalphotos

Anger Management – Part 3 – Root Analysis Technique

In the third installment of the Anger Management Series, we see another powerful technique that helps us deal with our anger issues and find the root causes of our anger.

Root Analysis Technique
Root Analysis Technique is a powerful Anger Management Technique

I know I am posting this after a long delay. Recently, I and my wife completed our Reiki Master course and were busy in that. We are now conducting Reiki workshops in Hyderabad. Those interested in learning Reiki Healing technique can call us for workshop details.

Ok, coming back to Anger Management. I spoke about Thought Retracement Technique. This technique helps in cutting down everyday anger and keeping it from spreading. However it does not reveal the root causes. It only tells you the trigger event i.e., the event which made you angry. Root cause will tell you why you had to get angry in the trigger event. Which belief of yours was evoked that you had to defend yourself by anger. Root Analysis Technique is the method to find that out.

You can read previous parts here: Part 1 & Part 2

Anger Management Technique 2 – Root Analysis Technique

As I said you can use Thoughts Retracement Technique whenever you find yourself irritated. It will show you the origin event which triggered your anger. Now Root Analysis Technique is used when you have some time to spare. What you basically do in this technique is to simply ask yourself why you had to get angry in the trigger event. You will do a simple analysis of the trigger event to find out which belief of yours was evoked. The key to success of this technique here is not expecting an answer right away. Let me explain with an example.

Let us say you find yourself in an irritable mood one afternoon. So you use the Thoughts Retracement Technique to find out when your anger had started. You find that earlier in the day, your colleague had said something to you that made you angry. Maybe he commented about the way you handled your clients. You got angry but chose to swallow it. You complete the Thoughts Retracement Technique to get rid of your irritable mood.

Now on the way back home you are in the bus and have the time to analyse the trigger event. Normally we assume we got angry because our colleague had crossed the line in that event. That may be true, but remember most of the time we become angry not because a belief was violated but because a belief was evoked. The colleague crossing the line in the morning event may be a belief violated – that is, your belief that colleagues do not have any right to make personal comments. Put that thought aside and start asking yourself what belief was evoked. Do you, somewhere in your mind, believe that you cannot handle clients well? And that belief was evoked by your colleague? Is that why you became angry?

As I said you will apply Root Analysis Technique without expecting answers. So you will just probe yourself and leave questions unanswered. Do this once a day for a few days and then suddenly you will find your answer popping into your head while you are doing something else.

Anger Management Techniques

The secret behind the success of the technique is that you are directing your subconscious into analysing the root cause for you instead of doing a conscious analysis. Conscious analysis may confuse you or lead you in circles without finding a definitive answer. Additionally, analysing our problem always creates anxiety in us and finding root causes in such a state can be futile. It is like desperately trying to remember a person’s name or a song’s lyrics. The harder you try more difficult it becomes. So instead you just do some basic digging, ask some questions and leave things at that. You will repeat this exercise for a few days. Just like the person’s name pops in our head when we are doing something else, we will find the answer to our questions coming when we least expect it. Not only that, when our subconscious mind finds answers, it also employs that data into changing our personality.

Once the answer – that is, the root belief for your anger – is given to you, the next step is to question that belief. In the above example, let us say the root belief is you think your PR skills are not so good and that is why you are unable to handle your clients well. And when your colleague commented on it this belief of yours was evoked and you showed anger in defence. Start questioning why and when did you acquire that belief. Repeat the Root Analysis – the process of digging, asking questions and leaving it at that. Repeat a few times across a few days and soon you will remember the reason behind this.

Keep doing this for as many trigger events that you find with Thoughts Retracement Technique and you will soon notice that your anger levels have drastically come down and you are better able to understand your own personality. You will be finding surprising truths about yourself and also you will find the ability to change them coming automatically. Many times most of the seemingly unconnected events that made you angry will have a common root belief many layers below in your mind.

In the last instalment of Anger Management, I will share with you another piece of knowledge that will help you remove your anger issues deeply and efficiently.

Image Courtesy: digitalart @ freedigitalphotos & ambro @ freedigitalphotos

Anger Management – Part 2 – Thought Retracement Technique

Thoughts Retracement Technique is a powerful technique keep you from carrying your anger from issue to issue. It helps you also find trigger events where you feel provoked. But for this technique to work you need to prioritize your anger issues.

Please read the Part 1 – Understanding Anger before you start using these techniques.

In the following series, I will share two powerful techniques that can help you manage your anger and find out the root causes for your anger as well. If you really want to benefit out of these techniques then the first task you need to do is to prioritize your anger issue. It needs to be given the first priority.

What that means is that, resolving your anger issues take the highest priority over anything else in your life. Any other problem, no matter how big, come second. If you cannot prioritize your anger issue, then these techniques will not work for you.

Technique 1: Thoughts Retracement Technique (TRT)

There are two ways anger bursts out in any of us. Sometimes we face a provoking situation and before we know it we burst out at the person we hold responsible for our anger. In a second situation, we get angry at one person and then we carry it in our heads through the day getting a little angrier at every small problem we face subsequently. Then finally when we can’t take it anymore we just burst out. TRT is for the second scenario.

So you face a provoking situation but you control your anger. Then you continue to carry that anger in your mind. Now you will reach a point when you find that you are not at ease and are in an irritable mood. The moment you detect this mood stop all that you are doing and start tracing your thoughts backwards. Go backwards in your memory over the events of your day. Soon you will reach the trigger event i.e., the situation where you first became angry.

Once you reach that situation, just make a strong decision in your mind that if at all you are going to get angry you will do that in a similar situation or with the person who you got angry with in the trigger event. By making this decision, you will find that your irritable mood changes immediately and you can carry on the day’s events efficiently.

As I said this is a very powerful technique to stop your anger from spreading. But it works only when you prioritize your anger as the most important issue to resolve. When you give your anger problem the top priority two things happen. One, you become very aware of your thoughts and moods – especially all the angry ones. So the moment anger comes into your head, you are instantly aware of it and you can apply the technique faster. Two, when you make the decision to keep your anger confined to the root event, it actually works. Your angry mood comes down and you will not show this anger on others unnecessarily.

TRT can surprise you many times in that when you go to the trigger event, you will be surprised that you actually got angry in that situation while your conscious mind knew nothing about it.

At times, TRT can even release anger from the root event. There will be times when you hit the trigger event you will find it so silly, on retrospect, that your anger simply vanishes. You will not even get angry with the person you hold responsible.

Sometimes when you start retracing your thoughts back to the origin you will hit an event where your anger wasn’t there at all. Still, keep following your memories and thoughts backwards. You will eventually hit a past event, perhaps a day earlier too, which is the original trigger event. Your stream of angry thoughts can go subconscious sometimes only to surface up later.

All you have to do on hitting the root event is to make a strong decision that you will confine your anger to the root cause only. Try it and see. It works like magic!

I will share the second technique in the next part. If you want to learn more about how thought streams can continue just below your level of consciousness read this post on Semi-conscious Thoughts.

Photo Courtesy: farconville freedigitalphotos

Anger Management – Part I – Important Facts About Anger

First step towards anger management is understanding what anger is and who does it belong to. Unless we realize anger is a defense mechanism and we are responsible for choosing it as a reaction, we cannot hope to resolve our anger issues.

Anger Management Part 1
Anger is a Defense Mechanism.

The biggest mistake we all make while dealing with our anger issues is assuming that anger is the core issue. Why I call it a mistake is because, though anger does cause complications in our lives and relationships, it is not the root cause. The root cause is violation of some belief or hurting of our ego. Anger then springs in its defence.

For any person suffering from short temper or violent anger issues, anger is a defence mechanism. Something inside has been hurt and we show anger to defend ourselves. Over time it could become a habitual defence, meaning it becomes a habit and we keep getting angry for even small matters.

By understanding that anger is a defence mechanism we have taken a successful first step towards resolving our anger issues. Because, we can now look beyond anger and deal with the actual issue causing it.

The second awareness that you need to have about anger is that it is your anger. Let me explain what I mean by that. When I get angry I show it on others; I blame others for my anger issues. But the truth is, no matter what the provocation, I chose to be angry. We choose our reactions. And in cases of short temper, the provocation is often trivial and our reactions are in excess.

It is very easy to say others are provoking us. But at the end of the day we are the ones who are left in misery and it is our relations that are getting strained. So unless we acknowledge that it is our anger and our problem, we cannot take charge of the situation.

The third important point to keep in mind about anger is that it spreads like cheese. When we get angry, we tend to carry it forward across time, situations and people. And more often than not, we end up showing our anger on somebody else who it was not meant to be upon. The anger at office is taken home and displayed there. Anger at the life partner is shown with children.

We often falsely assume that our temper issues have gone out of control when we start getting angry with everyone. But the truth is we are simply carrying one big anger from one person or place to every other place. We are just venting one this one big emotion in bits and pieces all through the day. Once we find the root issues that are causing this anger and work them out, our anger becomes very manageable.

In the next part I will discuss two powerful techniques that can take us a long way in managing our anger issues as well as identifying the root causes.

Photo Courtesy: Danilo Rizzuti @freedigitalphotos.net