If you find yourself with that awful life-draining sinking feeling for no apparent reason you may have stumbled across something called a Negative Anchor.
A Negative Anchor is different from a Negative Thought.
With Negative Anchors you find yourself feeling a certain way for no apparent reason. You may feel angry, irritated, sad etc. several times a day without really knowing why.
These feelings may well be accompanied by Negative Thoughts but in this situation it is pointless identifying them because they appeared AFTER the feeling. The feeling was responsible for the negative thought and not the other way around.
The approach that you take to a Negative Anchor depends on whether or not there is something practical you can do.
So if you are angry and you know why…say, because your boss has just dumped a whole load of work on you unexpectedly…then there is something practical you need to do i.e. speak to your boss…politely lol.
If you feel a sense of panic because a request for a non-paid bill has slipped through your letter box then you know why you have this feeling and the practical thing to do is to sort out your finances.
But if you just think of yourself as generally depressed or negative or sad because these feelings come upon you throughout the course of your day but you can’t put your finger on why, you could try identifying your Negative Anchors.
A Negative Anchor can accompany something you do, feel or hear either externally or internally.
So, my own example would be that I used to get a feeling of anxiety when eating toast for breakfast. Now, I love toast so I know it wasn’t the toast itself. After giving it some thought I realised that I used to feel this way whilst eating toast for breakfast as a child…before going to school in the morning. I would sit there worrying about some lesson or the other.
All these years later it was still affecting me because it was lodged in my unconscious brain; the feelings were still there and were triggered by the toast.
And here is another one of my Negative Anchors…the telephone. This built up over time with a series of negative experiences involving using the telephone. The first was when we got our first telephone when I was a child and I remember standing there willing myself to use it with my mum watching on.
Telephone conversations throughout the years in our house were always within earshot of my parents which got a little awkward once I was old enough to have boyfriends…lol. Then there was the time a salesman plagued me with calls after he had been to my flat and felt that I had pulled out of an agreement with him.
I gradually avoided using the phone but what I didn’t realise was that just seeing the phone could change my mood considerably. Even the sight of a telephone on the television or in a photograph could have this effect on me.
Feelings of gloom can descend upon me when I hear the theme-tune to Coronation Street and I have tracked this back to being a child and having to go to bed at the end of it. But for many of my adult years I didn’t understand why I felt depressed around 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
So are you getting the picture now?
Are you seeing how your mood can be elicited without you knowing why?
If you are I also hope that it is dawning on you that maybe it’s not you after all. Your feelings are not how you are, they are a response to something that happened in the past; something that your unconscious brain has latched onto and has formed a negative association with.
So, for the next few hours try to be aware of when these feelings descend upon you. It might help you to write down several different adjectives that describe your negative moods…
Pick some from here…
Once you have identified their names you can spot them as you experience them. Keep a record of them. Find out how many negative feelings you experience on a daily basis.
Over the course of a week become really familiar with these feelings. Then you can start to identify what you are doing when you get them and find out what they relate to. I have a free resource to help you do that…click HERE to get your copy!
And so that we can all learn from you, leave a comment below!