• Debbie Covino, PhD

Bad Thought: This awful image is stuck in my head.

A client I’ll call Carmen had broken up with her boyfriend months ago but in her mind’s eye, she kept seeing the angry look he had on his face when they had their last argument. She wanted to be rid of it so she could move on emotionally from the relationship.

Carmen’s problem reminds me that we often relate to our lives in pictures: As we write meatballs on the grocery list, we envision the pasta dish steaming on the plate; the image of a white-sand beach comes to mind when we pack for Hawaii; the sight of a childhood home attends a nostalgic conversation with a sibling, and so on.

Thinking in pictures happens unconsciously; we scarcely know we’re doing it. But if we can become aware of what we’re seeing, we can deliberately adjust the image for our own benefit. This practice is a staple of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and is easy to practice. For example, Carmen moved the image of her angry ex off into the distance in her mind’s eye, so that it was the size of a mere postage stamp. She also changed the image from color to greyscale and caused it to fade at the edges. The now less prominent and much less disturbing image helped Carmen to think, I feel more ready to begin anew.

Is there a picture stuck in your head that you’d like to modify? Give NLP a try and see what happens!

You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis audio program and the All Day Hypnosis audio courses, available at https://www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/digital-audio-programs

Click here to get your free Memory Spa Audio: https://www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com

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