Often after a long break, or a holiday from daily work, we feel tired and emotional, either exhilarated or overwhelmed.
Each emotion is a sign post of our own thinking, emotions guide us as our friend.
Mood is our friend.
Emotions and moods alert us to our thinking in the same way a car would feel the edge of the motorway bumping into tyres, alerting us that we might be veering onto the hard shoulder.
Emotions help us to ‘feel’ what is happening, we feel our thinking.
It is our inbuilt alarm system to let us know we are veering off our true, natural path. Our inbuilt alarm system looks like this:
Our mood goes down
our anxiety goes up
We feel physical pain.
THESE are our 3 ALARMS.
They alert us to our own negative thinking. How very clever!
We have inner systems that tell us when we veer away from our true nature.
Anxious, worrisome feelings are just that. They act in the same way. They warn us that we are looking in the wrong direction in that moment, hurting ourselves without being fully aware.
We actually feel the physical pain of our thinking. Our adrenalin kicks in and we have physical reactions to our own thoughts.
Take for example, an interview, or a first day at a new job. We feel tense, perhaps shaky or hot, dry mouthed and out of our familiar comfort zone.
This is because we have worrisome thoughts. We may even build those worries up to a fever pitch and not present ourselves at our usual best. Another example might be if you are presenting some training to work colleagues and are unsure of their reaction to your training, your thinking begins to build up and you hold onto it tightly … you may feel worrisome, ill or angry. You hold on to more thinking.
What if your colleagues don’t understand you. Or are more experienced, or don’t agree? What if nobody turns up, or they are ALL dissenters? What if … what if … what if …
You attribute your state of mind to something external, something outside of your control? It isn’t. It is your thinking feeling state.
This is the same for children and youth. They become anxious, assuming the cause of their worry is external.
A comment about the way they look or dress, or about their ability. Their mood lowers and anxieties climb. They feel lost and hopeless. They may induce further physical pain (drugs alcohol stress, depression, self- harm or anorexia) to distract themselves from that first painful thought.
The good news is that we have an inbuilt self- correcting system.
Just as the body eventually heals if we break a bone or cut ourselves, so too does our mental health heal itself.
We often pay more attention to physical hurts, because that is the history of our health care.
How can we help ourselves when we feel lost or worried?
Understanding that we create our own thoughts moment by moment is the re awakening or realisation of our own perfect mental health. When we experience those 3 simple alarms, mood lowering, anxiety thinking heightening and physical pain sensation, we are alerted and know that our own thinking is the root cause (i.e. nothing external). Then we can slow down that thinking, or observe it. Even if we only pause our current thinking for 10-20 seconds, this is enough for insight and clarity to occur.
When we are lost in thought, worries or anxieties – we cannot think clearly. Have you ever really loved someone in your life, another adult?
They seemingly do no wrong. And then you have your first argument and suddenly you really dislike them. They look the same, you look the same. The only variation is in your thinking. The dislike is created purely through your own thinking. Not by anything they do or say. Your thinking creates your feeling. (I wish I had known this earlier in life!) I have a family member who irritates me. I used to ‘blame’ that person for the way I felt (hurt, angry, frustrated.) Now I understand I have a choice, when that family member speaks I remain neutral. From this space, I can feel love for them, I have greater clarity for how to respond and it does not impact my own thinking. It’s a win win situation, I am not upset, nor do I feel any disharmony. I can enjoy my peace. As can you - at any time you wish.