DAY #232 EMOTIONAL SWITCH (yet again)


BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 251

Let’s start by recapping a few things we’ve gleaned from the past two days’ studies.

First, the model – it’s super important to understand the model:

  • CIRCUMSTANCES are neutral, always.
  • THOUGHTS about the circumstance can cause…
  • FEELINGS about the circumstance, which will lead to…
  • ACTIONS, which will create…
  • RESULTS, every time.

Got it. So if emotions are caused by thoughts, then it is entirely within our power to switch an emotion by switching a thought. Yes. But, I’ve also noticed that there are some things that come along that direct my brain to an unexpected switch – a change from my current emotional state to the opposite emotional state.

And there are switches that direct us from positive to negative, and there are switch that direct us from negative to positive. Sometimes the very same “switch” that makes it easy for me to move from a positive emotion to a negative emotion can also make it easy for me to move from a negative emotion to a positive emotion. This is all review.

When I understand that my emotions – negative or positive, long-felt or coming from a switch – are just data, then I can act and not react. I can use that data to see more clearly my thoughts, and decide if those thoughts and those emotions are leading me to the result that I want. And if I think it would benefit me to change that thought, that is where some of the deep work that I am here to do, takes place.

Sometimes, my friends, I experience a lot of resistance around getting rid of a thought – maybe I have a lot of evidence that that thought is true, and I can’t seem to change the thought. Could I keep the thought, and access a different emotion around it?

And that takes us to today’s post.

“How can I evoke different emotions with the exact same (primary thought)?”

With the use of “Thought Friends”! (This is new to me, too. Hear me out.)

The episode uses the example of a stay-at-home mom who feels discouraged. The thought that she believed led to discouragement was: “It’s all on me!”

Let’s look at the model, throwing “thought friends” into the model.

EXAMPLE #1

  • CIRCUMSTANCE – She is a stay-at-home mom.
  • THOUGHT – “It’s all on me.”
  • THOUGHT FRIENDS – “I have to do everything around here. Poor me. If only my husband would help out. I have to do EVERYTHING!”
  • FEELINGS – Resentment
  • ACTION – Complaining, criticizing, over sleeping, over eating, moping around, nothing getting done.
  • RESULT – She finds evidence that it IS all on her, and nothing gets done, and her relationships suffer.

EXAMPLE #2

  • CIRCUMSTANCE – She is a stay-at-home mom.
  • THOUGHT – “It’s all on me.”
  • THOUGHT FRIENDS – “It’s all on me, and I’ve got this! Nothing has gone wrong here. I don’t need it to be any easier. I’ve got this.”
  • FEELINGS – Empowered
  • ACTION – Living each day courageously, approaching problems with curiosity, pride in her work and in herself, acceptance of husband’s role in the family.
  • RESULT – She believes it is all exactly as it should be, strong relationship with self, with husband, and with her children. The success is all on her!

Of course, these are generalizations, with little information. But I want to make a point. The CIRCUMSTANCE is the same. The THOUGHT is the same. But nothing after that even resembles the other, right?

Okay, let’s get our heads wrapped around this. Can I have the same primary thought about a neutral circumstance, but create and use “thought friends” that will serve me best?

“What thought friends would be necessary to redirect that thought to something useful?”

An example from my life:

  • CIRCUMSTANCE – I was sitting on the stand at Stake Conference, in front of 800 people, singing in a choir, when my period started, and I bled through my underwear, my tights, and my dress. I was, fortunately, in the back row, and, after the meeting was finished, I busied myself in my chair until my 12 year old, Liam, could get to me and escort me out of the building while covering my backside. Phew.
  • THOUGHT – “My body is ridiculous!”
  • THOUGHT FRIENDS – “My body works ridiculously well! It does exactly what it was crated to do, regularly and in such a healthy manner.” And, “I can picture my uterus nodding it’s head in my direction saying, ‘I’ve gotcha. I know my job.’ And it does it! Go uterus!”
  • FEELINGS – Grateful
  • ACTIONS – I acted with sense, and with a sense of humor, and only had a fun story to share after the fact.
  • RESULTS – My body is healthy. My soul is healthy. I had a great experience at the conference! And that great experience had little to do with the speakers or even the music, but rather my relationship with my own body, and my intense gratitude for my body.

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