Techniques Introduction

I discuss a few interesting techniques on this website. To get the most out of them, it is good to have an overview of what they can and cannot do.

If I had to summarize what these techniques do to a few words, I would say that these techniques are about changing your internal emotional/feeling state fast.

At first it might not seem like a lot, but a little reflection and observation over your everyday experience will make it clear that it is indeed a big deal. A few examples will make this clear.

 Issues in the present

This is probably the most common. All of us experience stress and quite often it has something to do with what is going on at the moment.

It could be a disagreement with a service provider, getting stuck in a traffic jam, people walking with eyes closed across the road :), working under an approaching deadline, an angry customer, a discussion with a pointy haired boss/employee, depression due to a prolonged illness etc.

As you can see the list is endless and everyone has some list like this that triggers some or the other negative emotion in them - anger, anxiety, irritation etc. that lead to unproductive outcomes or at a minimum an adverse impact on your health.

Issues from the past

These are usually strong unpleasant memories that keep triggering in the present. Some common examples include domestic disagreements between family members, unpleasant experiences in our social relationships, death of someone close, accidents on the road, bad childhood experiences at school,  layoffs or unexpected performance reviews at jobs etc.

Sometimes the emotions that these events trigger affect performance in the present. At other times they drain us as we cannot avoid running and replaying them in different variations in our minds for days on end.

While it is uncommon, in extreme cases we sometimes see a significant behavior alteration of the person in question. I have known people who stopped all normal social interaction for years after someone close to them died. 

Issues about the future

These usually revolve around things that we would like to do but experience considerable anxiety following through, so usually we do them with a great deal of struggle or more frequently avoid them altogether.

Anticipation anxiety around things like interviews, speaking in public, having a difficult conversation with authority figures like elders in the family or the boss in the job are very common. 

Another common situation is where you are in toxic job and want to change a job or start on your own but the emotions you feel about the future hold you back and make you rationalize your current state in all sorts of fantastic ways. Chad Fowler has a good article on dead end jobs that is relevant here.

Very little action happens in these circumstances. Sometimes it is interpreted as a lack of knowledge and folks spend a phenomenal amount of time reading books and websites on related topics without ever taking any real action :).

So what can these methods do?

I would be trivializing the whole human experience if I say that these methods will get you a new job, fix your relationships and give you a purpose in your life :).

What they do once you learn them is that they provide your with a powerful toolset to use to change how you feel about the past, present or future situations and events.  Once you change your state in the context of a particular problem, it becomes easier to take action, move on and face the next logical steps.

Some examples

 I first tried to learn to drive a geared car about 12 years back. I was always  uncomfortable in the car and always anxious about keeping the car running, shifting gear at the right time, avoiding the next person etc. In fact, I attended driving school training twice just to be sure :).

After all of that, we went to the city once and I could not get the car to start after a red light turned green. The honking and shouting all around me put me in a state of panic and I could not start by the light turned red again! My dad had to take the driver seat to handle the chaos and take us home.

After that I never got into the driver seat again till last year.  I had a go at learning the car again. By this time I had learned EFT/ET and whenever I panic'ed or became anxious in the car, I used them to release the stressful feelings. I also used them to replay the past events and release the emotion associated with it. Now I drive a car regularly. While I am not an expert driver by any means, I can drive without any issues.

On a similar vein, I recently tried to learn swimming and having the tools and ability to release the extreme anxiety that I had with putting my face in the water, letting go of the handle etc. made it easy for me to keep making progress instead of quitting altogether or delaying the learning process by a few months.

I am sure you can think of innumerable situations like these where you can make progress much faster if you get a handle on your emotional reactions and that is precisely what these methods enable you to do. 

What sets these apart from other methods?

In my opinion what sets these methods apart is that they are excellent for troubleshooting specific issues like:

  1. I feel anxious when I have to attend an interview or give a tech talk, what can I do? 
  2. I feel anxious about having a difficult discussion with my boss, what can I do?
  3. I feel anxious when I do maths, what can I do?
  4. I feel irritated and angry when I have to deal with X, what can I do?
  5. I panic in the swimming pool, what can I do?
  6. I want to start my own business, but I feel scared when I consider X, Y, Z, what can I do?

All of these methods provide their own model of explaining situations like these and provide methods to alter your internal state so that you can once more consider them logically and make progress.

What about other methods?

These methods are in stark contrast to general methods like meditation or yoga which are very beneficial in general, but very difficult to do when you are in a state of anxiety or rage.  

In addition, popular meditations usually come with their own guru, a complex cosmology, belief systems etc. which are usually not appealing to everyone. Sometimes, they accumulate guilt about 'negative emotions' like anger, hate, jealousy instead of providing tools to release them. 

Very few meditations are useful as troubleshooting tools. I have never seen some one meditate and get over their fear of public speaking or their panic in the pool. 

So if your goal is to solve problems like what we discussed above, do check if a meditation practice provides a clear model to make progress along those lines.

I do meditate occasionally and I feel great when I do it, but when I am disturbed or anxious, I use something like EFT or Emotrance to handle it as they are extremely efficient at releasing emotions.

Further reading

  1. Techniques home page
  2. Learning new techniques

Recent Articles

  1. Inflexible schedules

    Different people learn at different rates. If this is not accounted for and a hard tight schedule enforced, it leads to problems.

    Read More

  2. Is the learner passive?

    Whether the design of learning environment keeps the student actively working the skill for the most part or as a passive observer makes all the difference.

    Read More

  3. Positive EFT in the homeo clinic

    This case story describes my experience of introducing positive eft to a few of my wife's clients in her homeo clinic

    Read More