If we learn to manage our emotions, instead of avoiding them, we could literally change any area of our lives we wanted to.
Can you imagine life with:
- sustainable weight loss
- not overspending when your don’t have money to spend
- not using alcohol as a buffer to avoid an emotion (do you even realize you may be doing that?) Does 7 pm Friday night cocktail ring a bell?
- not eating sugar
- not procrastinating
- fill in the blank of what is not serving your well-being!
It sounds pretty amazing if we could just master this one life hack of managing your emotions.
Is it hard?
Well it is, if your brain is telling you it is.
Will there be resistance?
Our brains have not evolved in a way that truly serves us. It is still in survival mode from thousands of years ago when we had to survive the dinosaurs and lions, tigers & bears, oh my! The brain’s job is to keep you safe. Even if in today’s world we do not have to survive those treacherous animals. It will try it’s best to keep you safe and comfortable even if that does not serve you.
The brain is basically in fear and survival mode at all times. The brain is really good at what it does. The brain is constantly looking to be right and also seek pleasure.
When you learn how to manage your mind and sit and feel an emotion you normally avoid, your entire life can change – really it can!
You will start showing up for yourself, your well-being, you become authentically who you were meant to be, you learn to love yourself, you can start that business and take action instead of procrastinating and making excuses!
And…drum roll…you can have sustainable weight-loss. Yes, you can stop going from diet to diet your entire life only to gain the weight back.
What do you want to do? What is it that you want in your life?
There are basically 60,000 thoughts per day. Your brain is designed to avoid pain and seek pleasure. When you avoid an emotion, you basically are getting a feel good dopamine hit in your brain. Once it learns something and does it over and over, it doesn’t take any energy to do it. It just becomes a routine. It becomes unconscious so you may not even be aware you are doing it.
The problem with that is it’s temporary and it’s also artificial.
Did you ever notice after you eat the food you didn’t want to eat, you feel bad and it only causes more negative emotion. It becomes habit and a vicious cycle. Your brain is trying to avoid an emotion so you feel good (temporarily). You may not even be aware of it. It could be an unconscious thought and it creates a feeling which is driving your actions and ultimately your results.
It’s okay to feel bad. It’s okay not feel good 100% of the time. Without contrast, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy life because everything would be the same. Life is not meant to be happy 100% of the time. To be truly authentic in our lives, it requires us to feel negative emotions 50% of the time just as much as it does positive ones. Otherwise, we are not really showing up authentically, are we? We just cover up our emotions.
The question you might be asking is.
How do I fix this?
I have to let you in on a secret. It doesn’t go away (I mean the feeling of wanting to avoid the pain and seeking pleasure).
However, when you learn to manage your feelings and emotions and ultimately manage your mind – whoa – it’s like you are awakened!
You can seek and create any emotion you want to feel.
You get to choose.
Your emotions are just an indicator of what thoughts you are thinking and what’s going on with you.
Step 1: Become aware of your emotion you are wanting to avoid at any giving moment. When you become aware, you can look it from outside your mind. You become the observer.
It’s powerful when you realize you are not your thoughts.
Sit with that emotion for a moment without anything other than just feeling it. What does it feel like in your body? Be okay with it. It’s okay to feel this emotion. It’s not going harm you.
Let it go.
It will leave you. The urge will go away.
Talk to it and just say thank you but I’m choosing a new thought. Embrace it with purpose!
Step 2: generate a new emotion you want to feel.
What thoughts you will have to think? What does that feel like in your body? How can you feel this emotion today?
Tony Robbins says we attach meaning to everything. Those meanings turn into emotions, and ultimately, those emotions frame the life we live.
Step 3: journal. Write down what you are thinking or feeling. When you can see your thoughts on paper, you can tell what your mind is thinking. You have the ability to change the thoughts. Practice this everyday. I like to do this in the morning, some like to do this at night so they can release all their thoughts before they go to bed. It really doesn’t matter as long as you get in the practice of seeing what you are thinking you can slowly start to shift.
I invite you to try this on and see how it feels. Be curious, be fascinated. Become aware! When you give up the false pleasures, you can live a life of total well-being.