We all have thoughts and we all have emotions, but do we understand the connection between the two? Can we control the two or are we feeling what we don’t want to feel and thinking thoughts that we don’t want to think? Let me explain.
The fact as I discussed before is that we can only control our thoughts to a degree and sometimes our emotions can have a life of their own. Sadly too many people just except this fact and carry on in life with thoughts and beliefs that produce depression, anxiety, self destructiveness, or just simply negative patterns. This in turn pulls that person lower and lower and it becomes their norm. Its easy to except this downward spiral, because its easy to be a negative person. It takes a little more effort to be positive and upbeat. Some people are naturally more positive, but we can all improve. We all may struggle with trying to have a more positive outlook in life. We all have bad days and thats normal, but if these bad days become weeks then months, we have a problem. So why do people fall into this trap of feeling down for long periods of time, and can it be reversed?
Can negative thoughts be reversed?
You see our thoughts are as a result of our beliefs. For example if you feel fear when you see a tiger, the fear is an emotional response based of your thoughts, your thoughts are as a result that you believe the tiger is a danger (and rightfully so). However here is another example of how things can get confusing. I’ll change her name, Anne would react with sadness and guilt when she saw herself in a mirror. She had an eating disorder, and when she saw food she felt it was the enemy. She was depressed and had a super low self esteem. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and guilt. Here is why. She was bullied when she was younger and the bully used to call her fat and ugly and that nobody would find her attractive or marry her (the bully was her mother). Eventually the abuse ended, and years later after a relationship failed, she blamed herself. It all came back what the bully had said, she believed she was overweight and this would effect her relationships. She looked at her body and hated the way she looked. She took an irrational view that her boyfriend left her for a slimmer girl. She now believed it. She feared being overweight because she believed it would cause hurt, pain, and loss. This then produced anxiety when she ate or saw herself in a mirror. She would feel depressed, she felt she was overweight due to eating, this caused depression and guilt. To put it simply:
Belief = Thoughts = Emotions
Can emotions be controlled?
The truth is our emotions are controlled by our thoughts and our thoughts are controlled by our beliefs. Thoughts produce emotions. Its a simple thing to see but its difficult to see when its a belief we may have had all our lives. Why settle for depression or anxiety? Why except it as your normal? There are people who genuinely have chemical illnesses like depression, but this percentage is a lot lower than you think. What this means is there are a lot of people depressed who can get better from it, and even if your body is working against you and causing depression, you can improve life to be a little better. Depression and anxiety are serious topics and can be a real challenge to change, especially if they have been your normal for a long time. But the truth is you can change them, you may need professional help but there is hope. Do you automatically react with a negative thought pattern to something like self image, relationships, food, certain places, or even a statement? Our reactions may be wrong and this is because somewhere we have a wrong belief.
How to change things
If you find that you react negatively to certain things, ask yourself why? Why do I feel that way, then look at what thoughts did I think to cause that reaction? Then look at what mis beliefs you may have. This is exactly how you change your mind and your emotions. Find the belief, change the belief, this will change your thinking, and resulting in feeling better emotionally. It can be challenging to examine yourself and you may need a professional to help, particularly if the emotions and thoughts are effecting your life. It can take time and its a journey when beliefs are implanted for long periods of time, especially when a lot of beliefs are formed when we are children. You should never accept a belief that brings you pain, sadness, hurt, or anxiety. There are things in life that will cause us sadness and negative emotions, but let these times be for a short time and not forever. I know this is a simple to the point post and things can be a little more complex, but at least I hope it gives you something to work from. If I can help don’t hesitate to contact me. Please do sign up to my newsletter HERE to keep in touch.
A blog post by Lifecoach Mark Fennell