I met a man at a public event who told me that he always craved red velvet cake. So I got a bit curious about it, and asked the usual NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) question, “How do you do that?” And, I got the standard answer, “I don’t know”.
So I asked him a few more questions, and found out that the way he generated the craving was to make a mental picture of red velvet cake at eye level about five or six inches from his face. Mental pictures, internal sounds and dialog along with sensations like warmth, texture, and taste comprise the structure of our thoughts.
It’s been discovered that the locations, brightness, size etc. of mental pictures affect the intensity of the feelings associated with thoughts. For example, if one brightens up a mental picture of movies of a happy experience the good feelings may well get stronger. The qualities, like brightness and size that intensify the emotions of a thought vary from one person to another. Bringing a picture closer may intensify the feelings for one person, and not for another, for example.
So, I asked the man with the cravings for red velvet cake what would happen if he pushed the image out one hundred miles in front of him, and locked it in place. Of course, to answer that question he had to actually send the picture out a hundred miles in his mind, and when he did that, he turned and looked at me and said, “I don’t crave red velvet cake anymore”. He seemed quite surprised.
A few minutes later, I saw the man standing off by himself staring off into space. He was stock still, and beads of sweat were dripping down his face. I got curious again, and went over to him and commented on his watch, to interrupt whatever thought that he was sweating over. Then I asked him what was going on, and he said that he wasn’t craving red velvet cake any more, and that he missed it. He’d simply been craving it for so long that he missed the craving when it disappeared. He then said that he was trying to get the craving back, but he couldn’t. I suspect it was his intense efforts to regain the craving that caused him to work up the sweat.
Sometimes it can be that swift and easy to eliminate a craving. Sometimes, of course, it may be a bit more involved.