Day 8: Your Thoughts Create Your Feelings
Let’s review from yesterday. The circumstances you are in, the things people around you say and the actions people around you take do not create your feelings. You feel what you feel because of the thought that you have.
Without language, the only feelings we would have in our body would be sensations. Try it on. Think about a favorite memory with a person you love. How do you feel? Think about a hard memory with a person no longer in your life. How do you feel?
Neither of those things are happening right now. Yet the emotion in your body was real and present. Because that emotion comes from the thought. The circumstance is not causing it because the circumstance isn’t even happening right now.
There are two reasons why you may want to resist this. The first is that it means you have to take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions, which is hard work.
The second is because you think that if you accept a circumstance as neutral that you usually view as negative, you will no longer be driven to do anything about it.
But here is why it is great news. Because it gives you all your power back. If the circumstances in your life don’t cause you to feel and act a certain way, then you can work to change how you are thinking about them. You never have to change another person (impossible) or your circumstances to feel differently.
- Are you holding on to any resistance to the idea that your thoughts create your feelings? If so, what is it? Is that serving you?
- Can you think of a time when your thought about a situation definitely created your feelings?
Spend 5-10 minutes downloading your thoughts in general or about a specific circumstance in your life. This time do one thought per line.
Take each of those thoughts and allow yourself to find and name the feeling it creates. Allow that feeling to be present in your body.
It may be difficult to come up with the feeling. Check out a feelings list or wheel. Read through it and pay attention to which ones ring true.
It can help to try to describe the feeling. What physical sensations do you experience as you feel it? What shape do you see when you feel it? What color? Is it soft or hard? Malleable or flexible?
Write out the feeling next to the thought.