Our emotions are sometimes looked at in society as a bad thing. We are often rewarded for hiding our feelings and moving full steam ahead to get the job done. Our emotions and feelings are actually are compass in life, and when we learn how to understand them, they can be a valuable tool in moving us ahead to becoming our most authentic self.
Emotions can be broken down into positive and negative categories. Positive emotions show us when we are in a loving state and negative emotions show us an underlying fear within ourselves.
Our negative emotions are our best teachers. They show us what we don't want in life, and set us on a path to changing our life situation that is causing us distress. Examples of fearful negative emotions are guilt, anger, sadness and loneliness. They show us where we are not aligned with our authentic self. That nagging feeling that something doesn't feel good, or something is just not right, is your indicator that it's time to fix the problem.
1. Negative emotions signal the need for change! - We need a change! It will either be a physical change like getting a new job or maybe getting in better shape, or it can be an internal change of learning how to find our inner happiness. Either way, the power is within you. The change can not be about changing others. It will always be about you making different choices that reflect who you really are. Others cannot make you feel something, only you can. Many negative emotions stem from our relationship with ourselves and how that translates into our relationships with others. Think about your own emotions? If you feel lonely, you may have not established a relationship with yourself. Or if you feel anger toward others, you're probably feeling victimized in some way. Some insecurity is driving your negative emotion.
2. Make time for yourself.
“Busyness is not a reason for not getting other things done. It is an excuse for not claiming your true priorities.” ― Alan Cohen .
“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.” ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth
If you say that you don't have time to do something, you are really saying "I don't want to do this". "I don't have time to exercise, or I don't have leisure time to read."Does this sound like you? If you have gotten caught up in the rat race of taking care of other peoples needs, then it's up to you to change it. The people in your life will balk at first, but then they will start to see how calm and happy you become when you start taking time for yourself, and they will appreciate the change. Start looking at what you really love to do and then start doing it. If you love to read, but don't have time, schedule yourself time and say no to other commitments. Taking care of yourself enables you to better care for others. Don't be a" People Pleaser"! Instead, do things that please others. "People Pleasers" are really saying "I'm don't love myself, so if I please you, then you will love me". Loving and taking care of yourself first is a great example for your children, and will teach them to take care of their own needs as well. In the future, they will be less likely to look to others for approval (fitting in, peer pressure, abusive relationships, etc.) and stand firm in meeting there own needs.
1. Practice showing positive emotions - Practice showing love, compassion, joy, and empathy. Pay attention to what brings on these feelings in you and do more of it. You can induce these feelings if you're struggling with finding these emotions in your life. Try smiling. You've heard of "Fake it till you make it". It has been found through scientific studies that smiling even if you don't think you have anything to smile at, will induce feelings of happiness.
2. Start a gratitude journal - Thinking about what you are grateful for provides a sense of peace and joy in an otherwise hectic day. Write it down, or even just thinking about what you are grateful for, helps you feel a sense of joy.
3. Find you talents - Look at what you are naturally good at. If there is an activity that you do, that you love and you lose all track of time, this is probably your calling. For me it is reading, researching and writing. I can do these for hours upon end.
I make it a point to try to make my children laugh at least once a day. I don't always accomplish it, but I notice more joy in them and me, for the shear act of trying. Laughter brings joy. Rent a comedy movie or go to a comedy club, read a joke, make a joke, do whatever you can to fit laughter into your day. Don't be afraid to express and release your emotions often. Show your children that you laugh, you cry, you get angry, and you show joy.
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In order to think clearly and intuitively, we must learn to use our brain to it's fullest capacity. If we think about it, the brain is similar to a computer; we need to find the power button, so that we can shut it down, reboot and recharge, we need energy to run, and we need to know how to use the different function keys to navigate accurately.
1. Meditate daily - To reboot and recharge the mind and body. Meditating is very important to clearing and clarifying our thoughts and overall brain function. Meditating daily will help you ground yourself and set up your body and mind to start your day. If you can't do the recommened 20 minutes, start small and work your way up. I find laying in bed an extra 10 or 15 minutes after I wake up, allows me the time to clear and set my intentions for the day. There are also several ways to meditate that don't involve sitting in the lotus position and blanking out. Anytime you find your thoughts wandering in more of a daydream, that's a form of meditation. Start by clearing your thoughts and focusing on your breathing, then allow your thoughts to wander gently, release the thought, and bring yourself back to center. Transcedental Meditation uses a key word that you always come back to. It has become quite popular in modern society since most people have a difficult time completely clearing their mind for a long period of time. Think of a positive word that describes where you want to be (peace, love, healing, etc.). Sometimes our wandering thoughts are productive in tapping into our intuition once we clear the clutter of our daily thoughts from our mind.
2. Whole brain functioning - Our brain can be divided into left and right hemispheres. Each hemisphere is in charge of particular functions. The left brain primarily handles the logical and practical side. It analyzes if it thinks you should do something and if it will be successful. It is often referred to as the Egoic side of the brain. The right side of the brain handles your creativity and artistic side. It is the side that is responsible for things like intuition, emotions and spirituality. Ideally, we all want to be balanced in our thinking and use both sides of our brain. When Albert Einstein died, his brain was exhumed to determine what made him the genius that he was. It was found that his brain had more connectivity between the left and right hemisphere, than the average person. He was a logical man but he was always quoted as saying that his creative imagination was the key to intelligence. Think about your own life. Do you function more dominantly on one side of your brain than the other?
If you work in a 9-5 job and are doing more logical or analytical work, you are probably neglecting your creative right side. Try to balance your brain activities as much as possible by adding activities that incorporate both. If you're left brain dominate in your activities, discover what your creative talents are. Painting, designing, dancing or just plain daydreaming. Whatever it is, begin to do it at least once a week. If you are right brain dominant, take a subject you are interested in, and learn about it. Science, business, finance or general problem solving. Something as simple as doing a crossword puzzle will stimulate the thinking process. Take some time weekly to work this side of the brain.
More often than not, we begin with our analytical mind, trying to think our way through without utilizing our gut instinct. There are many people, especially males, who have repressed their right emotional side of their brain because they feel that it is not practical in the real world. They try to control, force and analyze the steps in life, causing many unnecessary hardships. If instead we allowed our creative intuitive side to open the door, and go with the flow that is happening in the moment, we will be directed to our path quite easily. There really are no reasons to struggle in life if we are following our intuitive guidance.
3. Establish a relationship with yourself - If you are still doing things in your life because you think you're supposed to, you're probably feeling depressed. Many unhealthy relationships start off as one person trying to fill the emotional void they have inside by being with another person. It seems logical that if you're lonely, then you should find and stay in a relationship. What ends up happening is that you look to the other person to make you happy and then when they can't, the relationship takes on many archetypal roles such as victim/perpetrator, giver/taker, passive/aggressive. One person cannot fix another. The inner work needs to take place in order for you to find happiness within. It goes back to the old saying "You don't need to find someone; you need to be the one that people want to find". It's a typical scenario that when someone is lonely and they are searching for their perfect mate, they never seem to find them. As soon as they feel comfortable in their own skin, alone, yet not lonely, their perfect mate magically appears. This is because they have become their authentic selves and assuming that their perfect mate has done the same, they make choices that end up aligning them both.
4. Self Discovery - Try to discover who you really are. Next time someone or something upsets you, instead of being angry at them, try analyzing deeper what you are really feeling. Look at your reaction. Nothing can force you to feel a certain way. Only you have control over that. If someone insults you, and you respond defensively with angry, you are probably feeling inadequate. If you're confident in yourself, then it doesn't matter what this person thinks of you anyways. In fact, if you tried reacting in a positive loving way, it will usually trigger anger in the other person because the insult came from a insecure place within them. Try to look at difficult interactions as a movie you are watching. Look at it, analyze it, and respond as a bystander. Take yourself out of the situation and stop reacting. Practice and you will find that it gets easier the more you do it.
There is a very easy way to determine what areas within you that need emotional healing. Make a list of 10 people who bother you, or irritate you in some way. What feelings does it bring up in you? Do you feel someone is judgmental, insecure, bossy, passive? Now take a look at your list; All those qualities are present in you, in some way or in some form. This is the reason why you recognize it. Take time to heal those within yourself, and those annoying people will cease to be annoying.