Post Easter: How To Resurrect Something

Do you need to resurrect something? Say, your relationship? Your love? Feelings are just gone? Oh dear. Sigh.  – Afraid, whining doesn’t help you guys (as my daughter’s sensible daycare teacher tells her). ‘Boo-hoo does not help.’

Here are three things that do:

  1. Act as if the feelings were still there. Seriously. Our mind and body like to act in congruence. Yes, most of us are born honest, and like to stay that way. Our thoughts, words and actions feel best to us when they are in sync. If they are not, we adjust one (or more) of them so they are in sync again. The state of not being in sync is called ‘cognitive dissonance’, and the theory around it has been around for a while (since the 1950s). What is more recent is the empirical proof of this theory. I particularly liked the experiment by Elliot and Devine (J of Personality and Social Psy, 1994). The economist in me would have preferred a larger sample size, but I must say I believe the results.
  2. Talk as if the feelings were still there.
  3. If things start feeling off, refuse to change your behavior. Keep acting and talking as if your feelings were as strong as you want them. In that way, you force your feelings to adjust, while words and deeds stay constant.

Keep at it. It should do the trick. Hint: it also works the other way round if you want. I.e. you can use your thoughts to influence your actions (to become better at dieting or sports, for example). Just saying.

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