How Do We Do It?

How do we influence emotions

1. Label what you’re feeling especially when you’re feeling bad: Take a look inside – what are you feeling right now? Are you feeling sad? Angry? Nervous? Excited? What is it? Be extremely honest. You don’t need to be able to capture the state in one beautiful word – it could be a word, simple sentence or even a paragraph. As long as it is true & complete, it does not matter. Initially, this WILL be difficult. Write it down. Once we are able to label and acknowledge our emotions, we can take power away from it.

2. Reframe: To change any situation, we must shift the way we think about it. Yet our critical inner voice will attempt to resist this. Why? Because change is uncomfortable even if necessary. A good trick in this situation is to ask what advice you’d give a friend in the exact same situation. Now follow it yourself. Why does this work? As humans, we are long sighted when it comes to others and short sighted when it comes to ourselves. We are willing to tolerate minor discomforts for others, if it means they will be better off in the long run but we simply can’t do the same for ourselves. If you’ve ever wondered why it is so difficult to “Practice what you preach”, that’s your answer.

3. Don’t stay in the dead zone, counterattack -  Especially when you’re facing negative emotions, it’s easy to get sucked into what I call the dead zone – things that stop the flow of bad thoughts (through distraction) but do not really improve your situation – like scrolling through your Facebook feed or ranting. These are not all bad, but it can also keep you stuck in a bad place even if things don’t get worse. To truly feel better, we must engage in actions that’ll make us feel happy – this is different from person to person – it could be going for a walk or meditations or even listening to some inspirational audio clips -whatever makes you feel strong – do it even if you don’t necessarily feel like doing it.