Thoughts & Feelings

I want to share some information on how to be more happy in your life, and how to spread that happiness to others around you. It’s so common for us to go on with our day on auto-pilot, not really putting much thought into how we are treating others, or ourselves. When you stop for just a moment and can see your reality for what it truly is at that moment, you can gradually start shifting your awareness, and your mood will follow. I’ll get into more depth about what I mean.

Your mood is set based on your thoughts of the current situation and your expectations. Your mood then helps you determine what actions you want to take. You then form thoughts based on your actions, which in turn impacts your mood, and you then act on that once again. It’s circular.



SITUATION

THOUGHTS

FEELINGS

ACTION

Person gives me a dirty look in the hallway

What’s their problem? Take a picture, it’ll last longer. That person’s nasty.

Angry, disrespected, vengeful

I yell “what are you looking at!” The person turns and walks away.

I find out another resident is gossiping about me and saying bad things about me.

That person is so nasty. How dare they spread lies about me. I’m so worried what others will think now! I’m so embarrassed! Nobody likes me…

Angry, disrespected, vengeful, betrayed, nervous, sad, worthless, isolated

I stay in my apartment and avoid people. OR, I confront the person who spread rumors about me, yelling at them. OR, I walk around the building angry all the time, assuming everyone is judging me.


These are examples of how you can see a person’s thoughts ultimately led to their actions. These actions all are likely to amplify the feelings or provide no resolution to the situation, causing further harsh thoughts. Your thoughts just make the situation worse usually when they go unchecked. When you check your thoughts for validity, looking at other possible options, and giving those other kinder thoughts more weight than the negative ones, you’ll generate softer feelings and that will lead to better actions on your part.


SITUATION

THOUGHTS

FEELINGS

ACTION

Person gives me a dirty look in the hallway

Maybe the person has something stuck in their eye. Maybe they had a really bad day. Maybe that’s how they normally look, and they aren’t trying to give me a dirty look.

Apathetic, concern, indifference (not caring)

I walk past them, going about my day as if nothing ever happened. OR, I say hello and ask how they’re doing.

I find out another resident is gossiping about me and saying bad things about me.

Maybe they never gossiped about me. Maybe they really did say things about me, but other people may not believe them. Maybe I offended them deeply, and they are too shy to talk to me.

Concern, indifference, empathy

I talk to the gossiper in private and ask if I hurt them. OR, I let it go and not take it personally.

See how this softer, more positive interpretation of the situation leads to kinder feelings, which then in turn leads to an outcome that ultimately makes you less angry and hurt? You can either see a situation in a negative way, generating negative thoughts, or challenge those thoughts while focusing on positive ideas, rolling with that, which in turn will make you feel better.


It’s important to point out that this is not an easy thing to do for a good reason, biology. We are hard-wired to see the negative, and we have our ancestors to thank for that. Who do you think has the best chance of survival in the wilderness, a happy and super optimistic person, or a realistic pessimist who would rather air on the side of caution than try to see the bright side? The person who spins things in a positive way risks their life if they judge the situation wrong, while the person who follows-up on their over-critical thoughts stands the better chance for survival, because even if those thoughts didn’t serve them well, they didn’t lose anything tangible. Just like our body brilliantly stores excess fat in case of famine just as it has hundreds of years ago, the same goes for our critical mind, and what suited us a long time ago no longer suites us.

Your reality is YOUR reality!


It’s important to know that your reality is YOUR reality. You are a conscious individual that lives with your own free will to feel and sense and choose. If someone says something intended to be hurtful to you or about you, realize that this is their intention, and you can consciously choose how you want to feel about it or handle it.


What sound does a tree make that falls in the forest when nobody is around? None, because you never heard it, so that reality is not part of yours. The same goes for other situations. If a person is talking about you in their apartment with another person, you’d never know it, so it’s not within your reality. If someone chooses to say something hurtful or do something hurtful in your presence, by not giving it any of your attention or energy, it doesn’t affect you at all. You could, however, get really upset and confrontational, but you then are allowing yourself to be controlled by another person. Recognize that NOBODY can make you think or feel, they can only project their intentions out on others, just as you can. ONLY YOU have the ability to think and feel, and you can choose to think and feel differently. Even if you recognize that another person is feeling upset or mad, realize that this anger is their reality and a reflection of something internally within them, be it feelings of anger, guilt, inadequacy, or a thought about the situation that didn’t align with their expectations, and the experience involving you is just the catalyst that pulls it out of them.


I can relate to this, as I often catch myself being led astray. The more I catch when I allow my thoughts & emotions to be dictated by others, the better I get at watching out for it in the future, and the better I get at preventing it from happening later on. It’s like going through a forest, the first time is tough, requiring you to blaze a trail. And if you don’t travel that trail often, the path grows back. However, if you take the path regularly, the trail gets more and more defined, and traveling gets easier. It’s the same with catching thoughts. Practice makes perfect.


One recent example was when I was driving to work through a roundabout, and though I was in my correct lane as I proceeded through, another driver (I think) assumed I was going to exit the roundabout instead of proceeding through, and she honked her horn and threw her hands in the air, and appeared to be cursing me out. I won’t lie, my immediate thought was “What a moron, can’t she see the directional arrows on the road and see that I’m in the correct lane? What a nasty person.” I was starting to turn red, and I could feel my heart rate rising, and I felt my face naturally scowling out of anger.


It was at that moment I caught myself, recognizing “Why am I upset? And then I had the thought, I did nothing wrong. I was having a beautiful morning until I allowed myself to become upset about this person’s actions.” Then I had another thought that flashed into my head, “Maybe the woman didn’t see the arrows like I assumed she did, and she thinks that I am the bad driver.” Then I thought “She must be having a bad day if she gets that bent out of shape about this, because it wasn’t like we nearly had an accident.” Suddenly, I looked back in the mirror, saw the woman’s grimacing face, and felt pity for her. That brought a smile to my face, my heart slowed down rapidly, and I found myself hoping that she had a better day and feels better when she got to her destination. I had even mentally hoped that if we pulled up to a stop light together, I would have the opportunity to roll down my window and apologize, just so I could make her feel better, and wish her a good day.


This kind of shift in thinking has PROFOUNDLY changed my life, leading me to feel more joy and happiness. It’s addictive too, because who doesn’t like feeling good? It also makes me feel good to make others feel good, so it’s circular in nature. The more we closely examine our thoughts, and give more attention to loving and kind thoughts rather than negative ones, the better you’ll feel, the kinder you’ll behave, and you’ll find yourself having more positive life, spreading positivity to others. Be willing to forgive others and choose to see the good in life and within others rather than the negative.

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