Why do we feel bad? Why don’t we just feel good all the time? Is there a way to feel better more often? Should we? Some people say it is unrealistic to try to feel good always. Is it? If it were possible to feel better most of the time wouldn’t you want to?
First, I don’t know. That just seems to be the way of the world. The universe works on contrast and opposites. We have hot and cold, up and down, big and small, good and not good. We have contrast. The good news is we can utilize contrast to our advantage.
Just as night comes and it signals us to sleep and dawn comes and signals us to arise, feelings signal us as to what we are thinking and what is going on with us. They can alert us to issues that require attention and keep us safe.
Dashboard Signals Alert Us To What We Need To Attend To
Thoughts create feelings. Thoughts precede our feelings. Thought is a form of energy, lighter and quicker than feelings. An analogy might be water and molasses. Emotions are a combination of our physical sensations combined with thought. Lighter and heavier.
Our thoughts seem to be fleeting, sometimes racing. Our feelings tend to linger. We notice the results of our thinking by what and how we are feeling. Good feelings our thoughts are positive. Not so good feelings our thoughts aren’t so positive, they are negative.
Focus is a major reason why we feel less than glorious. What we pay attention to and put energy into determines how we feel. Focus can be habitual and we hardly notice what we are attending to. Focus can be deliberate. Whatever we focus on we get back and more of.
Our Feelings Are Our Signals
We want to be clear about what we focus on. Negative focus, outside of our awareness will run the show. If we don’t realize we are complaining and blaming and focused on problems and negativity we will feel bad without knowing why.
We won’t know what to do about it and so we will tend to do more of the same. It will only get worse. In order to break the cycle we need to become aware and shift our focus to the positive. From can’t do to can do. From unhappy to happy. We get whatever we focus on.
We can monitor our thoughts by monitoring our feelings. Our feelings signal us that we might need to change our thinking if we want to feel better. Just as the results of our life are an indication of our previous thoughts feelings are an indication of our thinking.
We Become What We Most Think About
If we look at our life and don’t like the results we are getting in our present circumstances and we feel less than glorious it is a strong indication we need to change SOMETHING about our thinking. If what we are doing isn’t working we need to change it for the better.
That is great news. It gives us something positive to do. Sadly, most people, when they don’t like the results, end up whining, complaining, blaming and excusing. They drive themselves deeper into bad feelings and poor results. They create a negative cycle.
The wiser, more productive course of action isn’t to complain or to try to fix things in the world but to first fix the thinking that produced the issues in the world. Once our thinking is straighten out we have a better chance to resolve the rest.
We Get What We Focus On
When we are positive, clear headed, stress free we think and feel better. When we think and feel better we are more resourceful and our brains are better problem solvers than when we are stressed out. Literally, our brains shut down more when stressed.
We actually do not think, nor see potential options and advantages as readily as when we are feeling positive. This is especially the case with chronic stress and lingering melancholy or anxiety. To live better we need to make some thinking changes up front.
This is why I emphasize repeatedly the importance of gaining control of your mind and learning how to direct your thoughts. Times will arise when we feel less than glorious and we want to be able to move ourselves gently into better feelings.
Awareness Is The First Step In Positive Change
Whatever is going on, accept it and learn from it. Notice what it is and realize it is part of being human. Your emotions are signaling you something may be out of whack. Hooray, what a marvelous self regulating system we have.
Gently attempt to feel better bit by bit. The goal is not to jump from sad to ecstatic but to move from sad gently towards feeling ecstatic incrementally. Bit by bit. As you learn to do this you condition yourself to move from less than glorious to glorious.
Still, you aren’t yanking yourself from one into the other. It is more important to be able to learn to set direction and follow the course than to leap from one to the other. Allow for slower and steady progress. As you do you might find it easing up more quickly.
If You Aren’t Aware Of It You Are Not Likely To Change It
You don’t have to push it. It will give way as you gently nudge it and simultaneously control and direct your thoughts. So can we or should we feel better or happy all the time? You decide. That is the best answer. If you think you shouldn’t be happy always, why not?
Certainly, you may have reasons. Then also consider this. Happiness is a choice. You choose when and when not to feel happy. It is completely up to you. If you learn how to control your thoughts and feelings you can determine when you will and when you won’t.
First learn how to control and aim your mind so you have that as an option. The more often we feel better the easier more of life is. We think better when we feel better and vice versa. Our mind and body are part of the same system. Our job is to learn to use them well.
Thank Goodness For The Signals We Get
If everyday you engage in conditioning your mind and body pretty soon you would have mind and bodies in pretty good shape. They both need exercise, rest, and proper nutrition. Care for your mind and body and they will serve you well. Better than if you don’t.
The investment in brain and body care pays great dividends all along the way. You can experience better current and long term health. You can think and act more productively to get better results and accomplish your dreams and goals. Yes, there is a cost to taking care.
There is time, energy and effort required. If you let yourself go or never get in mental and physical shape, if you never know well-being, why expect to if you do nothing in order to have it? It comes at a price. The price is your willingness and your follow through.
Energy Flows Where Attention Flows
You can begin small and make great progress. It can astonish you with how doing little things consistently can positively impact everything in your life in big ways. Be sure you do something. If you always do what you always did you always get to remain the same.
Do things that you enjoy. Walk, gardening, working out, meditating, yoga, listening to music. Engage in activities that make you feel happier and more joyful. Read inspiring books, blogs and materials. Listen to inspirational speakers. Hang with positive people.
Select one or two simple positive affirmations and use them as a mantra to think and say over and over throughout the day, when needed and at anytime. Imagine, visualize, your ideal self. Enjoy the feelings that accompany your visualization and savor them.
Drop By Drop The Tub Gets Filled
Visualize your positive goals as if you already have attained them and notice the wonderful feelings. Make a daily gratitude and success list. Feel your appreciation for the people, events and things in life. List your daily successes no matter how tiny.
Journal your positive feelings, your joys, and your desires. Write about what you want as though you already have these. Appreciate what you do each day. Appreciate yourself. Smile more, laugh more, move your body more, skip, sing, dance. Get a massage. Sauna.
Rest, relax, nap, bathe. Take care of yourself. Create a brief positive morning rising ritual and one for winding down and going to sleep. Review your gratitudes and successes. Plan for a positive next day. During the day make it a point to feel your best.
You Eat An Elephant A Bite At A Time
If at times you don’t, stop, take a deep breath, and put your focus onto positive thoughts, your mantra or your visualizations, and keep bringing it back to these until you are able to keep it there. At first it may seem tough but it will get easier and easier the more you do it.
Your brain, your unconscious mind is a servo-mechanism. It is an automated servant. It learns by training. It learned to do what it does when you were younger. Now it is time to train it yourself to do what you want it to do. Condition it for success. It will serve you.
It will serve you well but you must do it. Your early conditioning was not done with your permission or input. Now it is time for you to determine to build positive habits that reliably serve you to live the life you desire to live. Once conditioned positively it will be faithful.
Plan For Success – Be Positive – Expect Unexpected Good
If you want to change your life you need to change some things. If there are two dogs fighting within you, as the story goes, the one you feed and care for wins. The one you starve won’t. Be wise, take appropriate action and make your life more wonderful. Begin today and celebrate everything!” Rex Sikes
It is your day. How will you best spend it?
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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