When we talk about our thoughts and feelings we sometimes get confused about what we mean. Thoughts are the easy bit but where do our feelings fit in?
Feelings are the physical changes that happen in our body as a result of an external event (think of seeing a snake slide past you on the path and your fear reaction) or as a result of a story we tell ourselves (when I walk past the house we used to live in I remember that he is no longer here and I feel sad). NLP goes so far as to state we can change the way we feel at any time just by thinking about it ~ “imagine a time when you were really really happy – see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel those feelings of happiness right now.”
Today, I would like you to think about the language you use when you refer to your feelings. Do you say ~
I am angry
You make me angry
I feel angry
When we label ourselves as an emotion we are signalling that we inhabit that feeling and it defines who we are. You’re not angry, or sad, or guilty or afraid, you’re just having a physical reaction to an external or internal event.
When we say you make me angry we aren’t telling the truth. No-one makes us anything. It is better to say — when you yell at me I feel scared rather than When you yell at me you make me scared.
It is perfectly normal to feel a whole range of positive and negative emotions throughout the day. What matters is the choices you make while you’re having those feelings.
I feel sad so I’m going to shut myself in the bedroom and not come out until I’m happy won’t let you move on from the feeling as quickly as I feel sad so let’s get out of the house and go for a long walk together.
It is important to notice that feelings are physical so any physical activity will relieve the discomfort. Connecting with the present moment and exploring the physical world moves you out of your head and into your life. You know what I’m going to say … mmmm sex …
Do you think you can change how you feel through controlling your thoughts or do you use your body rather than your mind to get out of a funk …?