Feelings … nothing more than feelings …

girl with feather

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 …?

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About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing • Join the hottest group on FB → Sassy Ageless Women

7 thoughts on “Feelings … nothing more than feelings …

  1. Hi Katie,

    I definitely used to use my mind to control my thoughts, I guess I still do at times. But I am learning, to let my body feel the feeling, rather than get lost in an endless rumination loop in my mind.

    1. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stories. Like you, I’m much more likely to just go with the feeling these days and let it take its course.

  2. I love love love this distinction you’ve made here Katie. It makes such sense to me – feelings are physical in our bodies and so moving our bodies is often the best way to deal with that. No wonder exercise makes me feel so darn good! : ) It’s funny because when I’m down I often resist exercise, but when I overcome that it really does help the problem like nothing else.

    Thank you for sharing this. I will be saving it, keeping it in mind, and sharing it on my site when the right time arises!

  3. i am exploring this right now. especially the “x makes me feel…”, i am giving away power over my own life and body when i think that way. or i am not taking responsibility for it….

    i love the immediate change of perspecitive. now i am on to working on changing my feelings once i recognize that i have some measure of control over them and that truly i own them.

    very powerful!

    1. Hi Jess — often changing your feelings is as easy as exploring them like a curious child.
      Where is it in my body?
      What colour is it?
      What texture is it?
      What temperature is it?
      By the time you do all that it’s often difficult to find the feeling because its fading.

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