PRACTICE: Change Your Feelings by Changing Your Thoughts

It is important to remember that your thoughts create your feelings and at any time, you can change your feelings by changing your thoughts.  This ability will help you any time you find yourself feeling a way that you do not prefer.  Know that at any moment you are able to replace unwanted feelings with thoughts that cultivate more desirable perspectives.

Consider yourself only an observer in this practice.  It is only to be used as proof that your thoughts create your feelings and it can be practiced as often as you find helpful.

Think about boarding an airplane to travel to a far away destination that you have always wanted to visit.  The pilot has just announced that the airplane is ready for take-off.  What does this make you think?  “All right!  I am on my way!”, might be your thought so now notice how the pilot’s news makes you feel?  Excited?  Giddy to be on holiday?  Relieved to finally be going somewhere exciting?  Notice that these feelings followed a thought rooted in belief that flying in an airplane is good.  It will get you where you want to be.

Now imagine you have a powerful fear of flying.  You hear the pilot’s news and, now, how do you feel?  Anxious?  Nervous?  Maybe even sick to your stomach at the thought of being so high in the air?  Notice these feelings also followed a thought rooted in belief that flying in an airplane is not so positive.  It is risky and dangerous and might even leave you for dead.

Did you notice your feelings shifting from excitement and anticipation to fear and dread in this practice?  Did your body feel loose and relaxed at the start and tight and uncomfortable in the end?  How did the expression on your face change?  Likely smiling and then brows furrowed?  Simply notice these shifts as this is only a practice and the emotions you invest in it are purely over a fictitious event and thus, optional.

Feelings can shift throughout the day from happy to sad, excited to bored, silly to serious and all in between just by changing our thoughts.  Your thoughts are rooted in what you believe.  If you believe the experience of flying in an airplane is good, you will feel at ease when you are in the plane and if you believe flying is scary you will feel afraid the whole flight.

If you want to change your feelings, try changing your thoughts.  Start by replacing the negative thoughts with statements that are positive and true.  There is no sense in making up statements that are positive but untrue in order for this to be effective (and to remain trustworthy and rational, I recommend that you choose to use thoughts that are both positive and true).  You will find that the more you replace thoughts that cultivate undesirable feelings with thoughts that create positive feelings, the easier and more natural it becomes.  After time, you will become faster and more eager to shift your feelings throughout the day as it is personally preferred.

And hypothetically speaking, do not forget, the only way to to get to the far away destination is to get on the plane.  Since you have always wanted to go, and you’re headed there anyway, why not enjoy the ride?


Image from eBay.


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