How Are Your Emotions Guiding You?
Feelings and emotions are our guides on how to conduct ourselves with others and our environment. But, most of us don’t validate our feelings. Instead, we dismiss them as irrational thinking, unaware that they are the key to living a more enjoyable life.
The definition of emotions is as follows: ” a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.” -merriam-webster.com
Emotions allow us to make everyday choices. They help us select what we want to experience. Depending on our mood, we will go out to dinner with friends, eat ice cream, or listen to music. They help determine what people to hang out with, what career to choose, and what hobbies to pursue.
But we don’t have to be fully aware of feelings to take action; we do this subconsciously. This is the reason why most of us tend to eat comfort food after a stressful day and why we call the person that would cheer us up after experiencing sadness.
We are always seeking a state of blissfulness, whether it’s through the food we eat, the people we meet, and the things we do. What we must do, is acknowledge our feelings and emotions for what they are -tools to guide us in selecting what we want to experience.
You might think that there is no way to change how you feel towards something or someone, but there is a way to hack your emotions. This is by changing the story we create in our heads. We are all screenwriters; we are always writing the story of our lives. We have dialogues with ourselves about the events that happen to us. The way we frame the events determine our feelings towards them.
When I was growing up, I had an aunt that would invite my brothers and me to her house for the weekend. In the morning’s she would serve cereal for breakfast, but we were only allowed to select from the cereals her children didn’t like to eat. As I grew older, I began to resent her for not allowing me to choose from the other cereals. Twenty years later, I find out she was struggling financially and had to survive on 20 dollars a week.
Once I found why she was so frugal at the time, I was able to construct a different story for myself, which allowed me to see things differently, which created a different emotional response to the situation.
When we learn how to manage and change our feelings towards our circumstances, we begin to experience a more blissful life.