Have you ever taken time to think about time? As a mindfulness instructor, I have, and what I've discovered about the relationship between our concept of time and emotions are fascinating. For one thing, emotions always exist in time. Regret and guilt, for instance are feelings based on the past. Anxiety and worry are future focused emotions.
Everybody can intellectually understand these simple facts, but when you finally start meditating regularly, you'll begin to actually experience this truth as well. In hypnotherapy, changing a client's sense of time is known as 'pseudo-orientation in time.' The hypnotherapist may regress a client to a time before a traumatic event ever occurred or travel into their future. By talking to their future self, a client can sometimes connect with resources they didn't realise they have.
You can use time to improve your emotional mastery. What you've probably never thought about before is that your brain has a way of organising time. If it didn't, you'd have no way of telling the past from the present. Most people organise their timeline in a linear fashion, with the past in front of them to their left and the future somewhere on their right. Some people put their past behind them and their future in front of them.
Close your eyes and remember a happy childhood memory. Ask yourself, "Where's my past?" and without intellectualising too much, point to it. Then, allow yourself to imagine a wonderful future and ask yourself, "Where's my future?" Point to where it feels instinctively 'right'. Finally, ask yourself, "Where's my present?" (For most people, your 'now' will be inside of you.)
Here's the fun bit. Think of something that has a negative emotional charge to it. Be mindful of how you feel and of your internal dialogue. Then, leave your 'present' at arm's length in front of you, and step back. Notice what - if anything - feels different. Then take two steps back. Be mindful of what's changed. Finally, step back into your 'present', being cognisant of what's different. For nearly everybody, the emotional charge will have reduced.
Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist and mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops with PowerTrance. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at https://www.facebook.com/Belfast Hypnosis/ ?ref=hl/?ref=hl