Velten mood induction may sound a little Star Trek but it is a technique that has been widely used for about 40 years to put people into a more positive frame of mind, especially in psychology experiments.
It's a simple approach that involves reading, reflecting on and trying to feel the effects of some 58 positive affirmations as they wash over you. The statements start out being fairly neutral and become progressively more positive. The original statements were specifically designed to produce a euphoric, elated state of mind, although they can easily be adapted or personalised to focus on other sorts of positive feelings.
Here are the statements, and Theodore Velten's original instructions, the exercise should take about 10 minutes:
Velten Mood Induction: InstructionsRead each of the following statements to yourself. As you look at each statement, focus your observation only on that one. You should not spend too much time on any one. Your success at coming to experience this mood will largely depend on your willingness to accept and respond to the idea in each statement and to allow each statement to act upon you. Attempt to respond to the feeling suggested by each statement. Then try to think of yourself as definitely being and moving into that state. If it is natural for you to do so, try to visualize a scene in which you have had such a feeling.
Velten Mood Induction: Statements
1. Today is neither better nor worse than any other day
2. I do feel pretty good today, though
3. I feel light-hearted
4. This might turn out to have been one of my good days
5. If your attitude is good, then things are good and my attitude is good
6. I feel cheerful and lively
7. I've certainly got energy and self-confidence to share
8. On the whole, I have very little difficulty in thinking clearly
9. My friends & family are pretty proud of me most of the time
10. I’m in a good position to make a success of things
11. For the rest of the day, I bet things will go really well
12. I'm pleased that most people are so friendly to me
13. My judgments about most things are sound
14. The more I get into things the easier they become for me
15. I'm full of energy and ambition - I feel like I could go a long time without sleep
16. This is one of those days when I can get things done with practically no effort at all
17. My judgment is keen and precise today. Just let someone try to put something over me
18. When I want to, I can make friends extremely easily
19. If I set my mind to it, I can make things turn out fine
20. I feel enthusiastic and confident now
21. There should be opportunity for a lot of good times coming along
22. My favourite songs keep going through my mind
23. Some of my friends are so lively and optimistic
24. I feel talkative - I feel like talking to almost anybody
25. I'm full of energy, and am really getting to like the things I'm doing
26. I feel like bursting with laughter - I wish somebody would tell a joke and give me an excuse
27. I feel an exhilarating animation in all I do
28. My memory is in rare form today
29. I'm able to do things accurately and efficiently
30. I know good and well that I can achieve the goals I set
31. Now that it occurs to me, most of the things that have depressed me wouldn't have if I'd just had the right attitude
32. I have a sense of power and vigour
33. I feel so vivacious and efficient today - sitting on top of the world
34. It would really take something to stop me now
35. In the long run, it's obvious that things have gotten better and better during my life
36. I know in the future I won't over-emphasize so-called "problems"
37. I'm optimistic that I can get along very well with most of the people I meet
38. I'm too absorbed in things to have time for worry
39. I'm feeling amazingly good today
40. I am particularly inventive and resourceful in this mood
41. I feel superb! I think I can work to the best of my ability
42. Things look good Things look great!
43. I feel that many of my friendships will stick with me in the future
44. I feel highly perceptive and refreshed
45. I can find the good in almost everything
46. In a buoyant mood like this one, I can work fast and do it right the first time
47. I can concentrate hard on anything I do
48. My thinking is clear and rapid
49. Life is so much fun; it seems to offer so many sources of fulfilment
50. Things will be better and better today
51. I can make decisions rapidly and correctly; and I can defend them against criticisms easily
52. I feel industrious as heck - I want something to do!
53. Life is firmly in my control
54. I wish somebody would play some good loud music!
55. This is great -- I really do feel good. I am elated about things!
56. I'm really feeling sharp now
57. This is just one of those days when I'm ready to go!
58. Wow, I feel great!
Velten's mood induction technique is a form of guided meditation but where it differs from mantras and other, shorter forms of positive affirmation is really in the gradual build of the statements and the sense of progression they provide.
I'm not sure how long the effect is supposed to last, an hour or two maybe, but with practice and repetition it should be possible to produce a more enduring effect and induce it more quickly.
However, such techniques do not suit everyone, some people find that positive affirmations can be counterproductive and may remind them of the very thoughts and feelings they are trying to escape. For others though they can be a useful tool, especially if their inner dialogue is rather downbeat and/or if they need a bit of extra oomph to get through a difficult situation.
Finally, a tip of sorts, if you are prone to negative self-talk and your inner coach sounds more like an inner critic, imagine your reaction if somebody else said the same things to you. And if you wouldn't take it from them, why take it from yourself?
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