The first step toward feeling good is to learn to pay attention to our emotions. Some of our emotions are instinctual and necessary for survival, however, in today’s age of social media, news media, workplace politics, family issues, and a million other things, staying in control of our emotions is harder than ever. Most of us are being inundated by thousands of external stimuli on a daily basis, and whether we realize it or not, it can quickly become overwhelming.
Below is the Emotional Guidance Scale. Take a look at the various emotions and think about how much of your day is spent feeling one emotion vs the other.
Many times we simply don’t realize how something makes us feel. We sit there and watch the news and feel irritated, anxious, or even angry afterwards without really knowing why. We are choosing to absorb negative information that leaves us feeling bad, and we wonder why we aren’t happy.
But that’s reality, you say? We have to live with bad news and negative stories and lousy outcomes, right?No, actually, we don’t. Social media and news media is NOT reality. Reality is you sitting there on the couch. What you are seeing on the screen is an imaginary construct produced by somebody else that we voluntarily give our attention to.
If we never watch the news, would the events being reported by the news still exist as far as we are concerned? No, they wouldn’t. If you didn’t hear about something, it does not exist for you.
There are indigenous tribes in the Amazon who have never heard of Covid. And because they have never heard of Covid, they are not the least bit worried about it. As far as they are concerned, Covid does not exist.
We can choose what we eat for dinner and we can choose what we feed our mind. Luckily, our mind doesn’t “need” food to survive. So we don’t have to feed it anything.
The point is to pay more attention to how you feel, and, if possible, pay attention to those actions that make you feel good vs. those that make you feel bad.
The next time you feel one of the negative emotions listed in the Emotional Guidance Scale above, ask yourself what is the source of that emotion? Are you worried about work, a relationship, money? Are you angry at the Democrats or the Republicans? Same for positive emotions… what makes you feel joy, appreciation, or love?
This is why we meditate. We can literally change the way we feel by focusing on a positive element of our lives. How do you feel after you listen to this “miracle tone” vs CNN nightly news? Which one should you be choosing if you want to feel good?
We do not have to suppress our emotions, but we do have to be aware of them. We have to realize that our personal choices are causing the emotions we feel. If you don’t feel good, try making different choices.
Check out our Happiness Meditation Collection as a tool to help put you in a positive perspective.