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Emotion-Hacking Technique Transforms Caregiving Perspectives


A 'caregiver' typically conjures images of family members or professionals supporting a child or an adult in need. However, these boundaries can stretch much further. Consider this: if you're a teacher, you're a caregiver. The same goes for a boss or supervisor. In reality, most of us extend care and support to others in various capacities beyond ourselves.


Recently, I picked up a valuable technique from Tony Robbins. It's a method aimed at dialing down the intensity of emotions often labeled as negative. For caregivers, this approach holds immense significance as they frequently encounter these challenging emotions.


The process involves identifying emotions that frequently arise and then devising alternative words to disrupt these patterns or reduce their intensity. One of the emotions I fall prey to more than I’d like is frustration. Tony suggests two substitutions for frustrated - “challenged” and “fascinated.”


Just to spark some ideas, here are a few more examples many of us might relate to:

Angry to Disenchanted

Anxious to Expectant or A little concerned

Depressed to Calm before action; Not on top of it; or On the road to a turn-around

Disappointed to Underwhelmed or Delayed

Fearful to Wonderment or Inquiring

I hate to I prefer

Irritated to Stimulated

Overwhelmed to Maximized; Busy; In demand; or Many opportunities

Stressed to Busy; Blessed; or Energized

Terrible to Different


Alright, I might have gone a bit overboard on “a few,” but there's a wealth of options! Feel free to experiment with different words that personally resonate with you.


I implemented this technique while caring for my beloved mother who battled with dementia. There were moments when navigating her unpredictable behaviors due to this relentless disease felt challenging. However, as I replaced frustration with a genuine sense of curious fascination, I witnessed a remarkable shift in my own approach and internal state. I'm certain this shift also lightened the atmosphere in the room.


How might reframing various emotions, from frustration to disappointment, anxiety to feeling overwhelmed, empower you in your caregiving roles or everyday interactions? As always, grace us with your comments below!


High Five!

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Convidado:
19 de dez. de 2023

I like the idea of curious fascination! I feel frustrated with my parents who AREN’T battling dementia, so this might help me now.

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