How One Word Can Make Problems Easier To Deal With

This and that
Image courtesy of Paul Downey

Would you rather have your problems right in your face or at a more manageable distance?

Most people would prefer to have room to breathe and think about their difficulties.

When we think, or talk, about the challenges in our lives we tend to focus on the story of the problem. We get sucked in to the difficulty caught in the swirl of thoughts and feelings about the problem.

But there are two words that can make the difference between being gripped by our problem or being able to hold it at arm’s length.

These words are so familiar that you probably never even notice them.

Let’s try a small experiment.

Think of a mildly troublesome situation in your life – a small scale problem that gets to you in some way.

Think of the problem as the problem”. What happens in your mind and body as you consider the problem? How intense does the problem feel?

Now think of the problem as this problem”. What happens in your mind and body as you consider this problem? How intense does this problem feel now?

Now think of the problem as that problem”. What happens in your mind and body as you consider that problem? How intense does that problem feel now?

For most people this problem will make the problem situation seem closer, bigger and more intense than that problem which makes it feel smaller, more distant and less intense.

Thinking of that problem gives you a little bit of perspective, some breathing room. You only need to change one word, no other special tricks or techniques are required.

The same effect also applies to these and those, the plural forms of this and that.

Now when you are struggling with a difficult situation, memory, thought or feelings you can call them that difficult situation, that memory, that thought or those feelings to make them more workable.

Tapping on this and that – a simple EFT technique

If you use EFT/Tapping to work with difficult emotional situations you can use the power of this and that to make tapping on difficult feelings and memories a little easier.

For example:

When working with a troublesome memory you can ask yourself (or your client) “How strong is that memory?” to instantly help them distance themselves from the memory.

Tapping on that memory will be much easier than tapping on this memory.

When tapping on intense emotions you could tap on that anger, that grief, or those feelings which automatically moves the emotions away rather than this anger, this grief or these feelings which pulls them in close.

Although it’s a small change in language it can make quite a difference to your experience of difficulties.

Why not try it for yourself and see what happens.

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