How Are You Feeling?

Last time we discussed the importance of observing your thoughts and writing everything down.

Have you completed your daily thought downloads?

Read through your thought downloads and pick one thought that stands out. (Or, if you haven’t done a thought download, write down one thought you’ve thought today.)

We’re going to take one thought and do a deep dive, so choose one thought that really stands out for you.

Now ask yourself this…

How does this thought make me feel?

Check-in with your body, take a deep breath and close your eyes.

Several different feelings may come up for you.

Do a feeling download. Create a list of all the feelings you experience from this thought.

Go ahead, list them all.

I recommend referring to a feeling list (like this) to get very specific about the exact feeling. Be more specific than I “feel bad” – this is too general.

Take a closer look at your thought and feelings.

Thought > Feeling, Feeling, Feeling, Feeling 

Describe what happens next when you feel each feeling. For each emotion, describe what happens next, what do you do, what actions do you take when you feel this way?

Feeling > Action
Feeling > Action
Feeling > Action 

Notice that the feelings produce different actions, or sometimes we do nothing and take inaction when we feel specific emotions.

For extra credit, isolate the exact thought that’s producing every feeling.

Thought > Feeling > Action
Thought > Feeling > Action
Thought > Feeling > Action

We believe that one thought produces our feelings but specific thoughts produce specific feelings. We have parallel thoughts to our main thought that produce many different feelings.

Let’s give it a try.

We’ll use one thought you may think now or have thought in the past.

“My boss is toxic.”

You think “my boss is toxic” and you experience a multitude of feelings:

Anger, resentment, you feel undervalued, fear.

Your mind takes it further and builds a narrative around this thought to make the situation rich in detail.

What’s really going on is the effect of all the additional thoughts you’re having around your main thought “my boss is toxic.”

Here are additional thoughts you may have:

“My boss gets away with bad behavior.” (resentment)
“My boss doesn’t value me or my work.” (undervalued)
“My boss is unpredictable.” (fear)

All of your thoughts and feelings create an elaborate situation for you, your brain creates a story that supports the way you think and feel about your boss.

This is normal, this is how our brain is wired, it’s wired to make connections and build narratives.

And it’s also important to know that your behaviors and actions are fueled by your feelings. In this case, anger, resentment, undervalued, and fear.

Here are some possible actions and behaviors you might take based on how you feel.

You might :

  • Go home and yell at your partner
  • Binge on chocolate all night
  • Start planning your escape from your job

Get curious about your feelings because it’s your feelings that drive your actions.

Why is this important?

Because until we understand how our thoughts produce our feelings and our feelings drive all of our actions, we remain unaware of exactly what’s going on for us in every situation we experience.

As we become more aware, we can learn how to intervene on our own behalf.

Until we build a better understanding of this, we’ll remain unhappy, frustrated and disempowered.

Stay tuned, there’s more I want to teach you!

What’s your result? We’ll talk about the outcomes produced by your thoughts and feelings.

Often we don’t pay attention to what’s happening for us and our end results. When we understand how our thoughts and feelings are actually producing our outcomes, we can create a more intentional life – and this is life-changing.

Author: Jamie Cavanaugh

Jamie Cavanaugh is a Certified Life Coach, Educator, Interaction Designer, and Writer.

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