The freeze frame technique for getting unstuck
If you're like me, sometimes you get stuck in ruminating - having the same thoughts and feelings stuck on repeat with no movement or positive action. It's exhausting. The brain seems to have a mind of its own, quickly taking you on a path to nowhere.
Wouldn't it be fun if you could get back in charge of yourself?
The Freeze Frame® technique, developed by the HearthMath Institute, gives you a chance to find more efficient options and resolve problems and conflicts that may be depleting your energy. You can think more clearly and objectively.
Want to know the steps? You can use this process on yourself, anywhere.
Step 1. Acknowledge the problem or issue and any attitudes or feelings about it.
It can be a relief to accept the way you are thinking and feeling right now. Just noticing it and naming it.
Step 2. Focus your attention on the area of the heart.
Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds (or whatever rhythm is comfortable). You may even place a hand on the heart.
Step 3. Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.
When you do this step after acknowledging the issue, you're doing it truthfully. It's not just about positive thinking, or dreamy imagining. It's real - truly there are things to appreciate right now.
Now that you have added more coherence to your system, you can see the issue from a broader, more balanced perspective.
Step 4. From this more objective place, ASK yourself what would be a more efficient or effective attitude, action, or solution.
When you get to the objective place, you feel like "This is more true, more helpful, more balanced."
Step 5. Quietly observe any subtle changes in perceptions, attitudes, or feelings. Commit to sustaining beneficial attitude shifts and acting on new insights. Do the action.
You can do it! I used this technique on myself recently. I was really angry at a family member (who may or may not have been a teenager) because I felt they were fixating on one small thing I had done wrong, instead of appreciating the many things I had done right. At the same time, I was really angry at another family member because they had said something that cut me to the core.
Step 1 was just to acknowledge that I felt and thought that way. (From that point, Step 4 would have been impossible. I was really stuck.) But by being with myself and accepting myself in my anger, I was able to then take some breaths and get re-connected with my heart (Step 2).
With a little more breath in my body, I was able to remind myself of several things I appreciate about each of the people with whom I felt angry (Step 3). In fact, I laughed a little because, like the teenager, I was also fixating on what my attacker had done wrong, and forgetting about all the things they had done well. I made a short list of things I truly like about both of them.
With a little more balance, I asked myself what would be a more effective way to approach the situation (Step 4). The answer was clear - I could apologize to both of them, take responsibility for my part of things, express my appreciation and make a simple request for how I wanted things to be different (Step 5).
I admit, it still felt hard to do. I don't enjoy apologizing, and it's still fairly new to me to ask for what I want. But it was a nice relief afterward, and the relationships went back to the softness and openness I enjoy.
What about you? How can acknowledging the issue, connecting with your heart, expressing honest appreciation, and asking yourself for other possibilities bring about new goodness in your life? I'd love to hear how you use this tip - If you're human, I can guess there's something you can use it on right now.
With great love,