Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Changing The Way You Feel

"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person."
Dr. David M. Burns
It is generally thought that when one is in a depressed, or angry and downcast mood this is as a direct result from circumstances or situations that have transpired beyond their control. "How can I be happy if I've just found out my boyfriend cheated on me with my best friend?" Or, "I can't possibly feel good about myself, when I have nothing going for me; I don't have a job and I don't have a girlfriend!" Others attribute their bad moods to their hormones, or because they aren't feeling too well at the moment, or due to a past tragic event that they feel has left them empty inside. And yet some feel it's down to a much more simpler but daily annoyance; such as traffic jams, dull and dreary weather, an untight and unfriendly boss/colleague(s), pressuring work or family commitments, bickering family feuds over trivial issues, etc.

Whilst certainly there does lie some truth to these statements affecting the way we feel, it is most important to note, that we, at the end of the day, are the ones in ultimate and total control of how we feel.

The first step in feeling happy and better about oneself is in realising and recognising that your own thoughts, your own mindset - and not the situations that surround you - ultimately make up how you feel. Through this blog, I will help you develop specific techniques and skills that you can use in your everyday life to change the way you feel, and fundamentally change your life for the better.

Lets begin by demonstrating how our thoughts and our feelings relate to each other. Lets suppose someone pays you a compliment, "I think you are a wonderful person",  or, "you look lovely today". How will you respond to this? Would you feel pleased and happy, feel sad, embarassed, indifferent, or maybe even angry and annoyed? Why is it we all have very different responses to the same compliment? This is due to how we personally interpret that particular compliment.

If you were feeling down at the time, you may feel that the person only paid you the compliment to cheer you up. So, you would think that they were only trying to be nice to you and didn't actually mean what they had said. If you were feeling annoyed, you may presume that the person had an ulterior motive and probably only wanted something from you. But if you feel good, then that compliment would only add to your happiness and make you feel even better! Can you see now how our own thoughts ultimately make up our own feelings?

This can also apply to when something bad happens. An occasion perhaps when a colleague criticised you. If you think to yourself that you really are no good at all, then this will make you feel inadequate and worthless, and incapable. If you think to yourself that the other person is looking down on you, then it will make you feel worried and anxious. If you think that the real blame should be on your colleague and not yourself, that it is actually their fault and not your own, then it will make you feel angry and hostile. But if you have confidence in yourself and your abilities and have good self worth and esteem, then you will feel open minded to the criticism, and want to delve deeper and acquire a greater grasp of what the other person is thinking and feeling.

The underlying factor is that the way you react and respond will depend entirely on the way you think about the given criticism. The thoughts that you tell yourself have a significant impact on your emotions. But yet the more important point to realise is that by changing your thought pattern, you can actually change the way you feel.

It's important to remember that when starting this new journey into the new you, it's going to take work and effort. Persistance is the key to get you thinking in a different way and getting you out of that bad mood!

Free Hit Counter