Synopsis: For many, this mini-love-lesson presents a fresh and different than usual approach to both discovering new learning from your feelings and for changing them for the better with love-befriending techniques and through some rather different ways to think and behave in regard to your own emotions, especially the ones you don’t like to feel.
About Bad-To-Better FeelingsWhen you feel bad, even real bad or maybe just blah or sort of neutral; do you want to feel better? Of course you do. But do you know how? Many people don’t or aren’t very good at it. Some people even think it can’t be done but maybe they just don’t know how. There are ways to do it which you can learn, and with practice you can accomplish the changes quite well and healthfully. Also, you might want to assist your loved ones in learning these love connected skills.
Some Stuff to Know and Think About Concerning EmotionsTo change your emotions from bad to better and best, you will do well to first know some things about emotions. Emotions are part of your feeling system. You have two kinds of feelings, physical and emotional. Your emotions are processed in your brain but also effect your body. Because emotions are inside you, you can effect them (change them). To do that you may have to give up the idea that they are entirely caused by things outside of you and over which you have little or no influence, let alone control. That means changing the way you think and maybe the way you talk, especially to yourself.
When you say “he, she or it made me feel . . .” you may be subtly and subconsciously giving away your power to change your feelings. He, she or it did not make you feel anything. They only triggered, or assisted or activated your internal feeling system. Your internal feeling system can be strongly influenced by the other two major psychological parts of you – your thinking and your behaving. To change your emotions, change your thinking and/or your behavior. Of course that is much simpler said than done.
How You Catch, Is KeyThink of a game of catch the ball. Somebody throws the ball at you and how well you catch it determines whether it hurts or not, and whether or not you get to play catch with them and have some fun. How well you psychologically catch what is thrown at you, determines how you psychologically feel. When being cussed at or criticized, some people catch it poorly and get all upset while others can disregard it and be unaffected or even be amused. If you are cussed at or criticized in a language you do not know, you are likely to be mostly puzzled but not hurt.
Sure, the nonverbal or expressional part might make you a bit apprehensive but it does not have the same effect as if you understand the language. If what they send at us made us feel something, we would all feel pretty much the same thing when it reached us. Like we all react the same way to a bullet entering us, we bleed. It is your linguistic understanding that causes it to hurt, or upset you or whatever feeling you get. That feeling occurs in your head where you can have influence and make (catching) changes. You learn to emotionally catch, the way you do growing up. You can improve on that now.
Bad Feelings Are Your Friends Trying to Help YouI once had a really brilliant little kid in therapy who said, “I guess God made evolution put that bad feeling in me for a good reason. Without it I would never have learned to forgive and love my mother and myself for what we did to each other”. He had learned that he does better when he learns from his hurt and that is part of why it is there. And, no, you do not get to know about the thing with his mother. That is private and confidential.
You have to learn that hurt is the enemy of harm (that is one of the big things to learn about emotions). Here are some examples. Anxiety warns you that something harmful may be approaching, so look for it. Fear says the same thing only stronger and gives you power to escape faster. Anger gives you emergency power to fight perceived threatening destructiveness. Depression helps you inventory what is wrong in your life. Very frequently depression has something do with a lack of sufficient healthy, real other love or self love.
When you hurt after hearing something negative aimed at you, it is a message telling you “maybe you need to catch better”. All your feelings, both good and bad, were created in you to help you. So, learn to befriend them, listen to what they are trying to tell you and then cooperate. Doing that usually gets bad feelings to get over and be done with faster than trying to fight or ignore them. Trying to influence your emotions with just chemicals (e.g. drugs) or escapist behavior, may only help you miss their message and make things worse in the long run. There is a role for meds to play when bad feelings overdo it but medication is best used along with counseling or therapy.
About Seeking HelpLike all human systems, your emotions system can overdo or under do it. None of our human systems are yet perfected. Fear can turn to dysfunctional panic, anger to irrational rage, and so forth. This especially can happen when people have not learned to work with their feelings and hear their feeling’s guidance messages. It also can happen when there are certain neurochemical imbalances in the brain. When that happens seek professional help. A good therapist usually can work wonders.
Emotional education can help. It can be argued that at least half of our emotional pain seems to come from love problems of one sort or another. For more on dealing with love related hurt and negative feelings link to the mini-love-lessons “Dealing with Love Hurts: Pain’s Crucial Guidance” and “Dealing with Love Hurts: A Dozen Love Hurts to Know and Grow From”.
What Love Has To Do with Changing Bad Feelings to Good FeelingsHave you heard the concept: “Love all your parts and all your systems, and they will be more likely to love you back better. Especially love the ones you do not like and think you do not want. That is the way to bring them into harmony with the rest of you so they can do you their maximum good, which is their purpose”. What do you think of that concept?
To help you think about that, consider what Maxine thought. “I just couldn’t stop worrying. I over-worried about everything and nothing helped. Distractions, drugs, alcohol, sex, cognitive behavior therapy, religion, they all did a little good but only for a little while. Then a new therapist got me to talk and listen to my inner worrying self in a semi-hypnotic state. She told me my worry was just a presentation of a possible problem. But I would never do what I was supposed to do about the problems, which she told me was to make a plan and then do something about the problem, or go on to something else if there was nothing that could be done.
My worry myself also told me I just get stuck on the problem’s presentation. That is because I don’t love and believe in myself enough, nor believe that I am competent enough and can come up with adequate solutions, which don’t have to be perfect solutions. I was astonished that all that knowledge was in me and I just had to lovingly listen to the part of me that knew it”.
“With my therapist’s help I worked on growing my healthy self-love and believing what my worrying self told me. It was even more amazing when my worrying self evolved into my solution suggesting self. Now when I worry, I listen really closely and get the guidance message. I don’t know exactly how that works but it does work for me. I now love and respect that part of me that worries but that also comes up with solutions. It’s a precious part of me I was ignorantly trying to reject and ignore, but now I embrace it with love”.
More Love Please!This love is so often, at least a part if not the whole solution, needed for the emotions you want to change. So, you might consider just going and asking someone who loves you to show you love, and see if that helps. If you have a good loving dog or other pet, go get a dose of their love and see what that does. While you are at it, give yourself a hug and some good, self loving, affirmational talk. Getting more love is like putting high-octane gas in your tank. It helps you go further with more power and more calm confidence.
The Thinking Different to Feel Different ApproachesSometimes a new insight, a different understanding, the mental re-framing of an event, or reasoning something through, changes emotions for the better. That often occurs in psychotherapy and personal counseling. Another type of thinking also accomplishes changes in emotion. This is the positive cognition approach which sometimes uses positive imagery, affirmational language, heightened emotional motivation self-talk and confidence building terms, sayings and slogans. It does not go through investigative reasoning very often but rather works to directly create emotional change.
Non-conscious and semiconscious approaches, such as occur in pictorial thinking and the thinking that goes into music, movement and art therapies sometimes bring about marvelous changes in emotions. When any of these are dynamically coupled with healthy self-love, love of life, altruistic love and spiritual love focused thought techniques, they seem to have a more powerful effect, at least for a lot of people.
The Motion Emotion Love ConnectionIf your emotions are not what you want, out of healthy self-love decide you are going to treat yourself with a big dose of positive, upbeat movement. That’s right, motion can change emotion especially when done with a healthy self loving thought process. If you talk to yourself with some positive self loving affirmations and push yourself into dancing around the house, going for a run or vigorous walk, doing happy movements exercise, bouncing a ball off the wall and catching it, marching to vigorous music or any other way you choose to move, you are very likely to change your emotions for the better.
Remember before or after you do the upbeat different motions approach, or any other approach, to change your feelings, it will be important to listen and figure out the guidance message coming from your less than pleasant emotions. Otherwise they probably will have to come back and try to deliver their maybe unpleasant but actually friendly message again.
Practice, Practice, PracticePossibly all your life you have been practicing some other approach to dealing with what you perhaps think of as negative emotions. It also is likely that no one around you has been effectively modeling for you the approach of loving befriending and working cooperatively with all your feelings.
Therefore, it may take quite a bit of practice to counter and reform your habitual way of dealing with certain emotions. Working on making these changes with a counselor’s or personal coach’s help can speed the process. Working on this sort of changing as a couple or with friends doing similar work also can be quite useful. However, you do not have to believe in this process before you experiment with it. It is not a true believer system. It is a “do different to get different” system. Know that it usually does take repeated effort. So, with good, healthy self-love why not give it a go?
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As always – Go and Grow with Love