Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of things such as an upcoming event? Have you ever asked yourself what is that is making me feel overwhelmed? Is it the number of things that have to be done? Is it attending the event itself? The way you see, feel, and hear the images when thinking about the event are the submodalities. By using a submodality shifts you can adjust the way the event makes you feel to keep it in perspective.
What are Submodality Shifts?
First, let’s start with modalities. Modalities are our senses – visual, auditory, kinesthetic. We use these senses when we think about an event. How we see feel, and/or hear them internally is the submodality. Here is an example of how a submodality shift works:
As the practitioner, I say, “So, you seem overwhelmed when talking about the event you are planning. Can you describe what you see in your head when you think about the event?”
A person might then say, “I just see a bunch of things piled to the ceiling in a room. That makes me feel overwhelmed!”
I might say, “That would feel overwhelming. What specifically are those ‘things’.”
The person might say,”They are boxes.”
I say, “Okay. What is in the boxes?”
The person says,”Each thing I have to do for the event.”
I say, “What if you unstack the boxes and put them in a straight line in front of you going all the way to the event day? Each box is directly in back of one in front of it. So, all you can see is the one in front. Can you visually do that?”
The person says,”I see the first box in front of me.”
I say, “How big is it?”
They say, “It’s taller than me.”
I say, “Make is smaller so it’s about half your height. Now open the first box. Take a piece of paper out of it that is the first thing you need to do for the event.”
They say, “Research caterers.”
I say,”That is the only box you will open. The others will stay closed until you can throw that box away. Once you throw that box away, you can open another.”
I say,”How are you feeling now? Relaxed or overwhelmed?”
So, I did a few things to shift their submodality from creating overwhelm to a more relaxed state when thinking about the upcoming event. I used submodality shifts by having them:
- Describe what internal visual they saw when thinking about the feeling/event.
- Order the boxes into a straight line going out into the future.
- Shrinking the size of the boxes to a non-threatening size.
- Opening one at a time and taking a small piece of paper with the task written on it, out of the box.
- Not opening the next box until the task was complete.
This is an example of how to shift our perspective by visually adjusting the way we internally see something. You can practice this technique when you are daunted by a big task.