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Using the Body's Chemical System to Change Your Mental Attitude

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In his book, Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins explained how he saved his life through his own body’s chemistry. Afterwards, Cousins, although not trained as a medical doctor, served as an adjunct professor at UCLA's School of Medicine. Speaking at California State University Los Angeles' graduation several years ago, he theorized that the human body contains its own drugs which can cause physiological, as well as psychological change to cure any disease. These chemicals are released through specific psychological or physical stimulations which we don't fully understand yet.

One of the most powerful of these drugs is called endorphins. Strenuous exercise can release endorphins. That is probably the explanation for the euphoria frequently experienced by joggers towards the end of a workout and known as a "runner's high." So maintaining a consistent exercise regime is one way of ensuring endorphins is in your bloodstream on a regular basis.

However, you don't need to exercise to release endorphins. Cousins was able to release endorphins while on his "deathbed" by securing a large quantity of video tapes starring his favorite comedians, the Three Stooges, and playing them non-stop. At first, the going was tough. He found that six hours of belly laughs would release sufficient endorphins to allow him fifteen minutes of sleep. Slowly, the drugs worked their magic and eventually he was able to get the sleep he needed for recovery.

My wife and I have helped train thousands of executives and students in seminars how to release endorphins by this simple exercise. We ask the executives to stand, close their eyes, and allow their minds and bodies to relax. We then ask them to imagine that when they return home that evening they will find a registered letter among their mail. The letter is from an attorney. The attorney explains that an uncle whom they never knew has passed away. This uncle was extremely wealthy. As a final gift to his long lost niece or nephew, he has left the sum of 11,000,000, tax free, which is enclosed. The only condition is that they must spend this money in any way they wish. They can buy a home or an expensive car. They can take a trip around the world, or buy a boat.

They can give the money to their church, synagogue or a favorite charity. Or they can do some combination of these or other things. We give the executives several minutes to imagine their good fortune and the wonderful things they can immediately do with this tax-free money. We than tell them that on the count of three we want them to open their eyes and within ten seconds tell two other executives of their good fortune and what they are going to do with it. They are to do this in the most excited way they can. And why not, wouldn't you be excited if you had just been given a million dollars, tax-free to do anything you want with today?

You can actually feel the excitement building as we count slowly "one two THREE!" The room breaks out into a loud babble of noise. After ten seconds we stop these executives - not always easily. We invite them to feel the endorphins coursing through their veins. All agree that they feel fantastic.

Now you can do the same exercise by yourself. Also, you don't have to continue imagining a rich uncle keeps leaving you one million dollars. That can get a little old after awhile. Instead, do this. Pick your dream. Sit back and daydream. Imagine you have achieved one or more of your dreams, whatever they are: financial, personal, job related or not.

Think about what things would be like. Imagine enjoying your success. Really give yourself a squirt of endorphins. Dose yourself with a "dream session" daily. Many job hunters tell me they eventually achieve the great job they think about while releasing endorphins in this way.

"Anchoring" Techniques

"Anchoring" is one of the many neurolinguistic programming techniques developed by Professor John Grinder and Richard Bandler, his former student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. These scientists discovered that emotions could become linked to physical actions or sensations. For example, if while you were in an intensely depressed mood, a number of people attempted to console you by squeezing your left shoulder, depression could be brought on months or even years later by the simple act of someone squeezing the same shoulder in the same way.

This is an unplanned anchor. However, you can also set an intentional anchor. Maybe you recall the famous experiment of Dr. Pavlov. Dr. Pavlov rang a bell whenever he brought food to his dog. His dog, of course, would salivate. After awhile, Dr. Pavlov didn't need the food to get his dog to salivate. All he needed to do was to ring the bell. The emotion of hunger was now linked to the bell.

You can use anchoring on yourself to get any emotion you want on demand. Let's say you want to feel strong. Think of a time when you felt particularly strong in the past. In your mind's eye, review everything that occurred. Try to see everything as it happened, hear the sounds, smell the smells everything. What you are trying to do is to get yourself in an intense state of the same emotion. As you feel yourself in this intense state, take some unique physical action such as squeezing your hand into a fist. As soon as you do this, repeat the sequence. Keep repeating it. After awhile, you will have anchored the squeezing of your fist to the emotion of strength. Whenever you squeeze your fist, you will feel strong.

You can do this with any emotion you want: happiness, calmness, etc. You can imagine how valuable a technique this is. Let's say that you get nervous during an interview. All you need to do is produce your anchor to feel calm. Some people use pulling different fingers to produce different emotions. It's important to pick something unique. Otherwise either you or someone else can accidentally trigger an emotion.

If not triggered some anchors will expire on their own over time. If you want to intentionally erase an unwanted anchor, trigger a stronger anchor to a different emotion simultaneously with the one you want to erase. The stronger anchor will erase the weaker one.

Some of the points in this chapter bear repeating:

To be prepared for the "hard knocks" of job hunting:
  • After one interview, immediately start to prepare for the next.
  • After a "successful interview" answer additional advertisements and try to write the "perfect" response.
  • As you are waiting for the offer you know will come, make more telephone calls as explained in the TTP and try to beat your old record of number of calls to interviews.
  • Keep sending out your sales letters and follow-up letters in accordance with your campaign plan. Always keep trying to make them better.
  • Know that in the end you will secure a truly great job.
Use your resume to develop a positive mental attitude.

Use my secret to deal always from strength.
  • Know your own strengths.

  • Decide on your goals.

  • Know the company you are going to interview with.

  • Know that the outcome of your campaign will be successful as it has been for others.
Remember that to be a successful job hunter, you must be able to sell yourself.

There are a number of proven, cutting-edge psychological techniques available to you. You can use them to call up positive emotions whenever you want.
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