Last week, I had tried to get you to try a simple experiment. It was to simply stand in front of a mirror and get you to smile for three minutes a day. I know it sounds silly and I am not promising to cure you of all ailments, but if you did the challenge, I bet you felt a little better.
Motion leads to emotion. If you act a certain way, you will eventually feel that way. Something as simple as smiling can change your current mental state. I dare you to try it!
Another key to feeling less stressed (code word for fear) is to change your focus. Focus will lead to feelings. We become a summation of our thoughts. If you have a bunch of depressed or stressed thoughts, you will feel depressed or stressed. Every thought has some emotion tagged to it. If you change your focus, which is simply controlling your thoughts, you can change your emotional state.
Do a quick inventory of your emotional state for the week. Write down every emotion you had this week. Try not to edit it—just write them down as they come to mind. Hopefully, you have had a good week, but go ahead and do this little exercise. Try to determine what your primary emotion for the week has been. Honestly, I think mine has been frustration.
Now, the primary reason we feel frustrated or stressed is because our current situation doesn’t match up with our expectations or our blueprint for life. If we are feeling good, chances are our current situation matches up with our blueprint for life.
If things are not matching up with our blueprint for life, we can either change our blueprint (our expectations) or change our situation. Often, our situation can change simply by changing our focus. If we remained focused on the negative outcome or negative possibilities, chances are that our emotions well be negative. If, however, we focus on the positive things or possibilities (the glass is half full), we will tend to have positive emotions.
We all have a tendency to take a negative thought and go to the darkest corners in our minds with them. This is why solitary confinement is the worst punishment for prisoners. They are left alone with their thoughts.
You have to learn to control your thoughts. Most of the things people tend to worry over are outside of their control. They really have no influence over the outcomes. Take captive every thought you have and dwell on the good, the pure, the noble.
If you are having repetitive thoughts in your life that you really cannot control the outcome of, discipline your mind not to think about it. I have no control over the changes coming in healthcare. I can worry about it all, but it will not change the outcome. Now, I need to be aware of changes, but it will not help me to worry about Obamacare or Trumpcare. I have no control. So, when I am tempted to worry about it, I try to take control of my thoughts and focus on something else.
Focus will lead to feelings. Control what you focus on! If you want to take a deeper dive into this subject and other ideas for healthy living, take a look at my e-book, The Caleb Journey.
Wishing You an Amazing Life,
Dr. Curtis Brown