Maps, Minds, Emotions, and… Change: MOVIE MUSIC
The map is not the territory.
Our mental maps of the world are not the world. We respond to our maps, rather than directly to the world. Mental maps, especially feelings and interpretations, can be updated more easily than the world can be changed.
We’ve all had disappointments in life that later turned out not to be the “big deal” we thought they were at the time. People often say they “changed with time”, but it wasn’t the length of time that changed them. It was how they remembered the memory that changed.
I suggest you a simple exercise. In this exercise you will learn how to change an unpleasant memory. This technique works best with everyday problems of low to medium intensity.
Watch Movie of Problem Situation. Begin by thinking of an everyday difficulty. For example, recall a time that you were disappointed or embarrassed, a time when you didn’t feel very good about things. Pick a specific and real event from your past. As you think of this specific event, notice what images and sounds come to mind and watch a movie of this event unfold before you. When you’re done, notice how you’re feeling.
Select Theme Music. Now select some “theme music” that mismatches the feelings you got from the movie you just watched. Your memory is probably serious and heavy. So select something light and bouncy, like circus or cartoon music. Some people prefer upbeat dance music, while others like overly dramatic classical or operatic music.
Repeat Movie with Music. When you have selected music, have it playing nice and loud in your mind as you begin to watch your movie again. Have the music continue playing all the way through to the end.
Check Results. Now, rewind that movie back to the beginning. Play it without the music and notice your response to it this time. Have your feelings changed? For many, the incident has become ludicrous and humorous. For others, their unpleasant feelings have been greatly reduced or at least naturalized. If your feelings are not yet satisfactory for you, try using different kinds of theme music with your movie until you find one that works for you.