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Monday Mornings with Madison

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#14

Know your own feelings. (Part 2)

Everything we do is designed to change how we feel. The underlying force that drives the economy is the fact that people want to feel better, and they think buying something new will make them feel better. But, as we know, this is only a temporary — and expensive — solution to a deeper issue. So let’s look at some of the tools you can use to manage your emotions in a healthy way.
 
Appreciate the feeling.
One way to change a negative emotion is to appreciate the good part of this emotion. For example, if you feel afraid you can appreciate that you have this built-in emotion , fear, that keeps you from making dangerous decisions in life.

Whenever you have an emotion — good or bad — it will intensify and get stronger if you think it is bad or wrong. On the other hand, if you appreciate and value the emotion, you will notice that it immediately calms down.

What’s the message?
Once you appreciate the emotion, you can get curious about what the emotion is telling you. Every negative emotion has a message for you — it’s alerting you that you need to change something that you think, feel or do. By listening to the message and taking appropriate action, you will grow. You will become a better, happier person and prevent the same issue from intruding on your life again.

Question it.
Every emotion that we feel is based on an underlying belief about what things mean. For example, if you are afraid of calling people, you may have an underlying belief that people do not want to talk to you, or that they will reject you. Since rejection is bad, you don’t want to call them. But, if you believe that people love to talk to you — although they may temporarily reject your suggestions or ideas — you will not be afraid to call people. 

Ask yourself, “What beliefs are behind the emotion that I am feeling right now?” Just by asking this question your focus will shift. This shift will change your state of mind immediately and give you the courage to do the thing that you were originally afraid to do.
 
Has this ever happened before?
Another tool to use is your past experience. Think back about other situations in which you had these feelings and ask yourself, “How did I handle it then?” You have experienced most emotions at some point in the past and found a way to get out of them, either by changing your thoughts or taking some action. Whatever you did then, you can do now and it will yield similar results.

Then you can start questioning your underlying beliefs by asking yourself questions, “Am I really afraid or is this situation just a little uncomfortable? Have I done this in the past? Do I know other people who have done this and nothing bad happened to them? If I decide that I am going to do this, how will I do it?

Get certain.
Once you learn how to change a particular emotion, you want to be certain that you are in control of it so when it comes up again in the future (and, it will!) you will know how to handle it.

EXERCISE OF THE WEEK.
Take one simple question that you like,  “What’s great about this?” or “Has this ever happened in the past?” and ask yourself this question every time you find yourself thinking negatively for more than 30 seconds.  If you practice this for a few days, you will see a major shift in the way you think, and you will find yourself smiling just by asking the question.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK.
“It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings”  Dale Carnegie

QUESTION OF THE WEEK.
If all my emotions for one day were turned into a full color movie, would I be willing to watch it?

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