Your feelings are not a reflection of reality. They are a reflection of your thoughts, lifestyle (diet, sleep, whether or not you exercise, etc.), and emotional habits. If an acorn falls on my head and I think, “The sky is going to fall,” I respond with fear. If an acorn falls on my head and I think, “Great! Fall is here!” I respond with joy.
This is actually great information to have because it puts us in charge of our feelings. If we have the ability to control most of our feelings, why not choose feelings that affirm and motivate you? How do we do that?
Take care of your body
If you are not eating well, are tired, don’t move your body, or feel run down all the time, your energy will be low. Low energy produces lower frequency thoughts and emotions like sadness, doubt, anxiety, and guilt.
Be mindful of how you move your body
Feelings are physical. You can’t feel bad if you are jumping up and down and yelling with joy. Don’t believe me? Try it. Conversely, you can’t feel good if you are slumped over and downcast. Feelings exist in your body. If you do not have the body state to support a feeling, you cannot sustain a feeling. So, tell your brain that you are feeling strong, vibrant, and inspired by how you sit, breathe, walk, and gesture. Move in happy ways.
Get in the habit of being positive and feeling good
Neurons that fire together wire together. Your brain likes simplicity. The more you pair a happy thing with a mundane thing, the more you program your brain to feel happy. So whistle while you work. Sing when you’re doing the dishes. Rock out while you exercise. If you do this often enough, you will start to feel good for no reason.
Assign positive meanings to events
When we use feelings to make sense of our world and make decisions, we are often ineffective because we go negative. Who knows why things happen? Who knows what someone else’s motivations are? Since we don’t have all the answers, why not invent something that serves us?
If it rained today to make me slow down and pay attention to my driving, that’s probably a good thing. It sure beats feeling rushed and upset about it. If I don’t get a response to an invitation, I can wonder if my friend is mad at me, or I can tell myself that she is doing what she needs to do for herself. If I do this, my feelings are always at least neutral, if not positive.
When you’re feeling down, just remember that your feelings are not a reflection of reality. They are a reflection of your thoughts. This means they are a choice. Change your thoughts and you’ll change your feelings. Or you can just sit and feel your feelings. Nobody has to be happy all the time.