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August 22, 2022

Choosing Your Emotions

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As much as we’d like to think we’re in control of our lives, we’re really not. A factor that dictates just about everything you experience is your environment. A physical environment could make it easier to access healthy or unhealthy food. A social environment makes certain decisions more or less acceptable. But what I want to focus on today is our emotional environment. Your current emotional state puts a lens on everything you experience and whether you realize it or not, influences every facet of your life.

You know how people get hangry? That’s because when someone is hungry it affects their emotions and they become more agitated, irritable, and unpleasant to be around. This is a relatable example of how emotions influence your rational mind. This influence is unconscious and it affects you in ways you’re not even aware of.

A few weekends ago I did a weekend retreat in the desert that was life-changing for me, and that’s because I was hyper-aware of everything going on around me. This caused me to question everything I was feeling to get to the root of what was really motivating it. I’m not going to go into much more detail here, but if you want to hear more about my experience you can watch a video I made about it here. The reason I bring this up is because I discovered how quickly you can change your experience when you become aware of how you’re feeling.

Awareness is all about making the unconscious conscious. In other words, through awareness you can start to see how things have been influencing you and, if it’s not serving you, start doing the work to change it. So when it comes to your emotional state, the more consciousness you can have around the experience of feeling it, the more easily you will be able to change it. Most people wouldn’t choose to feel upset, defeated, insecure or angry, but at times they do. The best way to move through those emotions in a healthy way is to execute this two step process.

First, observe the emotions. Acknowledge that it’s your current state and don’t reject the fact that you feel a certain way. That will only bury the emotions. Then once you’ve done that, you can provide new meaning to the experience or redirect your focus toward another more preferred emotion.

You can recite this to yourself: “I have been choosing X emotion (that’s you observing and acknowledging), I now choose Y emotion (the redirected focus)." Give that a try the next time you notice yourself feeling agitated or emotional in ways that you don’t want to be.

Again, if you want to hear more about my experience at the retreat, the moments that brought me to tears and the breakthroughs I had, then click the link here to check out that video I made.

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