If there was a simple way of teaching our children how to let go of “bad” feelings right away instead of letting them fester, would you teach it?
The next time your child is in a frump, lead her through the following: Have her name the feelings in that moment. For example, she might say, “Right now, I’m feeling mad and sad.” Next, have her say, “I don’t like feeling this way, and I’m letting it go.”
Have her pump and dump (flap her wings or move the arms or legs – it releases the negative energy) and let it go. Visualize the negative feelings or energy going straight to light. According to research by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, it takes 90 seconds for the biochemicals to leave your body once you realize you do not like what you are feeling. (She is a Harvard brain scientist who also wrote My Stroke of Insight.) With pump and dump, it is probably faster than 90 seconds.
Did you know that our brain cannot tell the difference between reality and perception? After reading the research, I have been telling people, young and old, to re-do negative conversations in the mind to an ending of their liking. For example, you have a fight with your loved one. As soon as you are able to, imagine saying to him, “Hey, I just need to let you know that those words hurt my feelings, and I totally feel taken for granted.” Next, imagine him saying, “I’m so sorry for those harsh words. I really do appreciate you and love you. I’ll do my best to watch my mood.” Observe how much easier you can relax and let go of the fight. So, the reality may be that you had a fight with your loved one, but changing the perception to him apologizing allows the brain to let go of the negative situation easily. In other words, changing the perception helps you not buy into those negative thoughts and situations, and return to peace.
The idea of redoing negative conversations to an ending of your liking can be further expanded to redoing “bad or scary” dreams to an ending of your liking. Teaching this method to parents and young children who fight at bedtime, because of fear of bad dreams healed the bedtime struggles. I simply instruct the parents that when a child wakes up screaming or crying after a bad dream, ask him how he wants to turn that dream into a happy dream. If he cannot think of one, help him. One six-year-old girl happily turned the ghosts in her dream to butterflies and saw them fly away. I know dreams can have significant meaning, but I favor teaching this to young children, because when we are little, bad dreams are just bad. I am sure we can all remember having a hard time falling asleep after a scary dream. You can let go of a lot of layers of old negative emotions this way, as well as prevent new ones from being stored in your body and mind.
Imagine how much lighter you will feel not hanging on to negative junk. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could teach the above methods to all children? They would grow up not taking things too personally, easily let go of negative situations, feel safe, be more confident, courageous, happy, and at peace. It can be this easy and the choice is up to you.
Image Credit: Gaia Photography