Jill and I were fortunate enough to spend a glorious week in Puerto Vallarta the week before Christmas. I think we’ve started a new Christmas tradition.;-) I had the opportunity to go scuba diving and really enjoyed it. I don’t know if you’ve ever been scuba diving, but it’s quite a unique experience to actually breath underwater – like a fish! Well, not actually like a fish, but you know what I mean. In the swimming pool I had no problem whatsoever, but when we got out in the ocean I began to feel quite anxious. It hit me as we were floating on the surface that we were actually going down 30 feet. Wow, 30 feet, I thought, that’s a long way down. What if something happens down there? I felt myself getting quite panicky and had to do some quick thinking – and self soothing.
I told myself that there are back-up regulators on each diver and our dive master is an experienced professional and knows exactly what he’s doing. I had to trust and it calmed me down. I tried to remember everything I had learned in the pool and tried to breath calmly and continue breathing and not to hold my breath. Finally, the anxiety turned to excitement as our dive master motioned for us to follow him down into another world. I succeeded in getting myself into the appropriate emotional state to complete the task and it was fantastic!
After our dive I watched the next group where there were two sisters, one who looked very nervous. I had to watch as she began shaking and crying and it looked like she was going to back out for sure while her sister seemed to remain calm while waiting at the surface. When it came time to follow the dive master, the shaking crying sister had managed to pull herself together and made the dive while the calm sister ended up backing out and not making the dive.
Back on the boat on the way back I had to ask the shaking, crying sister how she managed to make the dive after all when I was so sure she would back out. She told me that she told herself that she had a Bachelor’s degree in Voice and that she knew all about how to control breathing for singing and this was no different. She got a grip, breathed calmly and followed the group down and had a wonderful, enjoyable experience. Her sister, on the other hand, was not able to find a way to change her thinking about her situation which would change her feelings about the dive and they prohibited her from being successful and having a memorable, enjoyable experience.
Do you have a good story of changing your emotions by changing your thinking? Let me know about it.