I’ve gotten some requests for the best ways to use the Paraliminals series of change work sessions.
I’ve used them for years, and while there are many effective change work sets out there, I recommend the Paraliminals because they work very well without causing any conflicts or downstream issues. So you can use them without anything going wrong.
As you read through these, I’m going to use 2 examples: phone addiction issues and social media comparison dysphoria (that is, always feeling left out, inferior, or “fake” due to usage of social media).
Also – consider that you might want to use these links when you buy them because it helps me support the site while helping you make changes in your life.
1. Address the issue at the proper chunk level
Is your issue is “phone addiction,” there are ways to address that globally, but that might not address all the different aspects. You could address it as:
- Phone addiction
- Addiction to Instagram
- Addiction to notifications
- Addiction to likes
- Addiction to the sound of Instagram notifications
At each smaller chunk size, you can target more accurately. At each larger chunk size, you can target more completely. Select the right chunk size for the job.
For the social media comparison example:
- Feeling inferior to others
- Feeling inferior about others having more friends
- Feeling inferior to X because he has more friends than I do
- Feeling inferior to X about the pictures of his party
You could do a similar line for feeling left out, or fake.
One strategy is to use a “bottom up” approach by addressing the first or most intense episode of an issue. Many times that will lessen the intensity of the rest.
2. Consider addressing the internal process or “strategy” that creates the problematic state or situation
If you feel inferior to others after using social media, you are almost certainly comparing yourself to what you think others’ lives are like. One trap is to compare yourself in some area to the best you see on social media. That is like playing soccer solo against a team of 500. That’s not even remotely reasonable.
Two ways to adjust this are to feel better about yourself and to change your internal interpretation of what things on social media mean. For example, instead of comparing yourself to the best you see on social media, you can drop that path entirely and instead compare your performance to how you performed in the past. (Notice there are two shifts here: 1) from comparing your self, to comparing your performance, and 2) from comparing against others, to comparing against your own former performance).
Phone addiction is generally a combination of feeling empty and self-medicating with a hit from your phone.
3. Consider a multipronged approach for complex issues
For phone addiction, any of these may help:
- If you are stuck, listen to New Option Generator
- Clear out your emotional backlog of feeling left out or unvalidated
- Develop a new behavior or habit for handling situations that used to make you reach for your phone
- Change your beliefs about what constitutes validation
- Learn how to develop positive relationships
- Increase your focus and concentration
- Address any anxiety about missing out
- Let go of your need for phone validation
- If you want to be truly done with an app for good, break the habit permanently
- Make a fresh start with a newly engaged life free of phone addiction
For social media dysphoria:
- Clear out your emotional backlog of feeling inferior, fake, jealous, or left out
- Develop new ways to feel better about yourself and what you see on social media
- Learn to make better comparisons internally with what you see on social media
- Appreciate the good in your own life here and now
- Address any personal emptiness driving your need for validation
- Let go of your need for social media validation
- Improve your personal relationships
- If you want to be truly done with social media for good, break the habit permanently
- Develop a new hobby, passion, or practice to enrich your life
4. Sleep and repeat
Create a playlist for a particular listening session like this:
- Track 1
- Track 2
- Track 3 (the “sleep learning” track)
- Track 3
- Track 3
- Track 3
- Track 3
- Track 3
- Track 4
Listen to your session as you go to sleep. As long as you set your intention during track 1, your mind will wake you up when you have made enough changes for the current session. At that point skip to track 4 to finish up. This can help with an issue with a lot of layers to it.
5. Read through the booklets
It is well worth the time to read the accompanying booklets because there is a wealth of great information in them that can help you get the most out of the sessions.
6. Bonus: A story about phone addiction
I think we all, at some point in our lives, have thought that our phones were becoming an unhealthy habit. Now, I can remember when I first realized my phone was causing problems with my life. I had spent some time on Facebook and wasn’t feeling great about things. I contacted a friend to meet for coffee and as we sat down, I asked him a question: do we use our phones too much? He thought for a moment, and told me how he was out to dinner the other night and everyone at the table was on their phone at the same time. The person to his right was taking a picture of the food for Instagram, and the person to his left was checking in on Facebook. His girlfriend was on Twitter and he himself was texting a friend. He suddenly stopped cold, put his phone down and looked around — really looked around. At other tables people were talking, laughing, smiling, listening to each other and being listened to. He saw one man lean over and kiss his date. They were connecting. He looked back at his table and realized he and his party were not. He thought, “This needs to change now so I don’t miss out on any more real life that everyone else is enjoying.”
So right then, he set his iPhone to reduce motion, he set his screen to greyscale, and he turned off all his notifications except for his family, his girlfriend, and 3 close friends. He got everyone’s attention at the table and told them what he did, and suggested they do the same, for at least while they were at dinner, because it is good to really connect. And they did.
Finishing his story at the coffee shop, he then answered my question, “Yes, most people do use their phones too much. But we all kept our phones in greyscale and minimized our phone alerts, even after the dinner was over.” And now, looking back on that time I first realized my phone was becoming a problem, I’m glad I did it too, because since then things have been different, and because it IS good to really connect.