The more and more I study and realize the importance of emotional control in my life I have more realizations. One realization I have had is that you choose the way you feel.
In last week’s post we talked about what emotions are and came up with a definition of them:
an emotion is a dominating thought or feeling of the mind that occurs from past experiences and previous reactions in a persons life. Your current emotional state is that thought you have because of the event that happened, but the way you feel stems from the past experiences you have faced.
Let’s use this as a basis for how you choose the way you feel.
How We Process Emotions
At high level lets take a look at how emotions come about within the mind. If we try to think about this process, it can be very logical. It all starts with an event.
The event that happens could be a Terrible life event, surprising news, or maybe a thought you had. All the event really is something that occurs in your life. The event could be something large, something small, a negative one, a positive one, a thought or even a real life event.
The actual content of what happens in the event does not necessarily matter in explaining how the events cause you to choose the way you feel. We must experience something as the first step in changing the way we feel. We are using the five senses to understand and gather information about the event that happened, so we could do something with that data.
Once we have sensed the event using our 5 senses, we now report what we saw, heard, touched, etc back to the brain for further processing. All the data we received is sent back to the brain where it takes that data and tries to make “sense” of it.
When the data reaches the brain it is now placed through filters from our definition of emotions. It takes us through our current situation. Are we in a good or bad place mentally, physically, or emotionally? If we are in a bad place whatever happened, tends to be skewed towards the bad side of things. If our current life situation is a positive one and a negative event happened it wouldn’t feel as bad to us.
At the same time it takes your current emotional state into consideration. This works in a similar fashion as the current situation. If you are having a bad day emotionally, then chances are whatever happened will be viewed with a more negative view. Your current emotional state will pull your view of what happened in the direction of the way you felt previously.
Last is it will take you through your life’s relationships. These work in a similar manner as the previous two. If you had a positive relationship with someone, the event would be skewed in that direction. Does the event add strain to any relationships or make them better?
In the end, the we experienced an event, and then the brain processes that event. This will lead us to an outcome of how we feel with our interpretations on the event. The results will include how we feel emotionally or maybe even logically what we can do next.
As you may have noticed, there are plenty of variables that can change the outcome of the event. The same event can make two people feel two completely different ways with two completely different reactions.
Choose the Way You Feel
Although this happens on a subconscious level, we still end up feeling a certain way after an event. What comes out of the processing is exactly what we get as the result. Therefore, you can choose the way you feel by changing the processing involved.
If your processing had a positive belief in back of it, one that thought that there is something to learn from every seemingly negative situation, you would most likely have plenty of more positive feelings as results. This is where you choose the way you feel. If you can change your mindset, the deep seated beliefs, then you are theoretically changing the rules in which you process events!
This takes a high level of effort on your part. You might not be able to change the way you feel in real time. With some consistent effort you will be able to change the way you feel from any result. Situations that bothered you previously could make you feel light years better with the mindset changed.
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