A few simple life coaching processes to help you reboot your senses, change your perception of stimuli, and feel more creative and focused.
When you’re studying NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP), one of the key frameworks of understanding you study is representational systems, which in a nutshell boils down to how you take information in, store it and process it using your senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and more, including temperature and even perception of size.
The most important thing that this teaches you though, is that your senses are malleable and by manipulating them and working with them, you can change how you perceive and interact with the world around you - to your benefit.
Reboot your senses & kick start your creative juices
The following exercise is drawn from improvisation comedy, and is hands down one of the most powerful I’ve ever encountered for changing the way you perceive stimuli through your senses, and for getting your creative juices flowing again.
To begin with, stop and take stock of your senses for a moment, noticing how you are experiencing everything around you.
- How hot or cold do you currently feel?
- How does your clothing touching your skin feel?
- What else is pressing against or touching you? How does that feel?
- What does the space around you feel like? Hollow, light, dense, something else?
- Are sounds loud or soft?
- Nearby or far away?
- Intrusive or calming?
- Hollow or full?
- What does your mouth taste like?
- What do you smell?
- Are colors bright or dull?
- Are the objects around you clear or fuzzy?
Now that you have a clear feel for where you are and what you’re currently experiencing, we begin the exercise itself.
All you’re going to do is walk around the room and let your eyes fall on whatever object they fall on, pointing to it if you want to. As the object comes into your view, simply say the very first word that comes to your mind – no editing, and not the name of the object. So you can point at a desk and call it silver, monkey, banana, twinkle, harness or fish – anything but desk or table.
The point is to confuse your senses and your language processing for a few seconds. The nice thing is that because all this stuff happens through our senses, it’s easy to manipulate it using that self-same sensory input.
Now you’re simply going to keep going for as long as you can – which will only be twenty or thirty seconds in the beginning. It does get a bit easier as you go along, but in all honestly most people battle to keep the language confusion up for longer than a minute, and that’s okay.
Once you’ve gone as far as you can, stop and cycle through the sensory questions again – noticing what’s changed: some elements will be the same, some will have changed quite dramatically. Most often, people experience an immediate difference in temperature, color, clarity, sound perception and sense of space.
What you’ll find though is that the intensity of the sensory input that was overwhelming or irritating you is gone, which is really useful if, for example, you’re one of the many people that experiences heightened sound awareness when stressed or overwhelmed. In addition, if you’ve been experiencing a block in creative or work flow, you’ll find that this exercise often unsticks that and helps you get into a nice flow and groove workwise.
If the above technique seems difficult, you can try our Creative Thinking Reset Tool :)
Simply let the video play while listening to the wrong word with each picture
Play the video without sound and say your own random word with each picture
Leave the sound on and say an additional random word to conflict the picture.
Practical Functionality & Connectedness
This next trick is gleaned from BodyTalk, which is an energy healing process that uses a combination of kinesiology to identify statements and tapping on the brain to release stuff.
BodyTalk has a public domain process called the BodyTalk Cortices Tapping Technique that is very effective if you use it on yourself or on others, for a variety of applications. One of my favourite applications of this DIY technique actually comes from BodyTalk sessions. In a BodyTalk session, in order to create practical functionality, a person’s subtle senses (basically the filters that receive the sensory input), are cleaned and then anchored to the brain.
If a feeling of connectedness is called for then those same subtle senses would be anchored to the heart.
For you own benefit, you can simply activate each sense by using it, or touching it:
- Press your fingers onto your eyes to activate sight
- Press your palms over your ears to activate sound
- Pinch the bridge of your nose and breathe in deeply to activate smell
- Squeeze your hands together or briskly rub your arms to activate touch
- Rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth or take a sip of something to activate taste
After you’ve activated each sense, if you want to feel more connected take both hands and press them over your heart to connect those senses to your heart, while taking a deep breath.
If you want to function better on a practical level and get stuff done, and be in good workflow, then put one hand on either side of your head and connect those senses to your brain.
Whether you choose practical functionality or connectedness, finish it off with the 1-minute BodyTalk Cortices Self Tapping Application