The energy of thoughts and emotions and how to control them
All of us receive a never-ending stream of thoughts and emotions. It can be quite overwhelming and you might have experienced yourself getting so caught up in these sensations. Have you ever felt stressed, depressed, overwhelmed, or confused? What I will set out to do in this blog is to show you that you are not, your thoughts and emotions rather you are, a being (I know this sounds a bit fluffy and I haven’t found a better way to describe us) who experiences thoughts and emotions. This might seem like a strange distinction to make however once you can really see the distinction you will be able to let your thoughts and emotions wash over you (and even direct them) and not get trapped by them.
I have been doing a lot exploring in this field and below is what I have come up with.
In the last blog that I posted, I spoke about the different aspects of your mind. What I believe is that your thoughts and emotions act as communication (signals) from different parts of your mind to support your survival in the world. One of ways that these signals are generated is from your programming in your unconscious mind. Just like in the children’s treasure hunting game where your friends shout out “warmer, warmer HOT or colder, colder FREEZING” as you move closer or further away from the treasure. So your thoughts and emotions can act as indicators letting you know if your actions are getting you closer to what you want or further away. Would you agree that if your unconscious mind is writing programs to ensure your survival it would need a way to get you to take action? I believe that one of the purposes of your thoughts and emotions is a way for your unconscious mind to get you to take action on your programs. To me this would explain why some of your thoughts and emotions can seem so out of your control. As I explained in the last blog, you are not aware of the creation of your unconscious’ programming (hence the word unconscious) and so wouldn’t be aware of the site of the creation of some of your thoughts and emotions.) The key here is that they seem like they are out of your control. Luckily as I explained in the previous blog we have a conscious mind which can override and direct these signals, please note that you can’t stop these signals yet you can let them wash over you and remain unattached to them. Just as your unconscious mind generates thoughts and emotions you can also use your conscious mind in the thought process to choose to think and focus on positive thoughts and feel positive emotions as well as in problem solving and planning.
Instead of overreacting to these signals, what you need to do is learn to understand them. When you experience a negative thought or emotion instead of reacting PAUSE ask yourself what is causing this. Then decide on an ACTION (it is important to take action as it is the only thing that will change your reality. Going into explanations of how you think and feel just traps you in the thought or emotion)
I have noticed with my clients that long term negative emotions are usually generated when there is something in their life that they are not taking action on.
I had an experience just the other weekend where I was very angry and snappy with my family (yes knowing this stuff does not stop the emotions and yet it does help us to deal with them so you can let the emotion go). So knowing what I know from my research I realised I was being triggered to take action however due to my inaction my anger was getting stronger and stronger. Normally I would have blamed everyone else for my irritation yet what I realised was that my business had hit a slow patch which required a major input of energy from me to take it to the next level and at the same time my family expected me to be focusing my energy on them. The work pressure grew and my resentment to my family also grew until I started snapping. It was then that I realised what I needed to do; so I sat down with my family and explained what was going on for me, and could they please give me some time to get back on track. It was like a total transformation; I had a wonderful weekend submersed in my work, designed a new strategy to take my business to the next level and am in the process of implementing it. My family and I organised things for them to do so we all enjoyed the weekend. The anger/irritation – gone! My anger was just signalling to me that I was not taking action on the work situation.
To really see what I am talking about I have a couple of experiments that I would love you to try. Don’t worry they are harmless.
1. Firstly after reading this passage please close your eyes for +/- 30 seconds and just become aware of the thoughts that are running through your mind. Let them flow and just observe them. Complete this little experiment before reading on.
While you were taking part in this experiment there will have been a part of you that was able to observe your thoughts. Can you see that if there is a part of you that can observe your thoughts then this observer is separate from your thoughts and so therefore you are a “being” that is experiencing thoughts rather than one who is the thoughts.
2. a) Secondly I would like you to remember a really bad time in your life. Really remember what it felt like, step back in to that time, and remember the sounds, smells, colours and the feelings what were you thinking about at the time. Take +/- 30 seconds to really experience it again. Then read the next paragraph.
b) Now what I want you to do is to imagine the most wonderful time in your life remember the sounds you heard, what you were thinking, smelling, and how did you feel? Spend +/- 30 seconds doing this and then read on.
Would you agree that while you were remembering the bad memory you most likely felt bad and when you were thinking of the second one you would have felt much better? Did you also observe that you could change your own state dramatically just by changing your focus? A lot of people don’t realise that they have a choice and can choose what they focus on and therefore what they want to feel.
These experiments show that you are able a) to step back from your thinking and feeling and b) to change your thinking and feeling at will.
Just as with exercise, where to get fit you need to practice, so it is with consciousness. To become more conscious of your thoughts and feelings and start to take charge of them you will need to practice the following
1. Become aware of your thoughts and feelings – keep a journal every evening and observe what triggered your thoughts and emotions and how you handled them.
2. Develop strategies for certain situations such as anger. Where you might pause choose a direction and take conscious focused action.
3. Developing the ability to change your current state. Exercise your ability by changing the focus of your thoughts and emotions, the more you do this the better at it you will become.
4. Expressing yourself consciously can be like popping a zit! Firstly you need to understand what is really at the root of your feelings. It could be like me in the above story where I was feeling that I wasn’t on top of everything and that I was being pulled in too many different directions and had no energy to give, which led me to feel overwhelmed. What I am trying to say is not to communicate the anger as that can be misunderstood and can hurt people rather look under the anger to what is the cause and communicate that, always taking responsibility for your emotions as you were the one that created them!
I hope that this has given you some clarity on where your emotions are generated from and how to start to use them consciously.
Wishing you a jubilant Week