Oh, we’s some funny creatures.
I’ve found one of the funnier things about people is how vast the difference can be between what we logically know in our minds and what we emotionally feel within ourselves.
It’s understandable that people will group these two ways of knowing something together into a mish-mash of understanding in their life. It takes a few steps to consciously parse these things apart in your mind and identify when one system is running versus the other.
I think acknowledging how large this difference can be, between intrinsically feeling something and extrinsically knowing it, can be the first step to making your emotions believe or “feel” what you logically know. So much human and self inflicted stress comes from our two knowledge systems competing or conflicting. And it’s more often than not the emotional or intrinsic system that will win out. But needlessly so.
We have an absolutely phenomenal ability to re-wire the way our brains think. But this ability only comes with an appropriately matched amount of effort. And not just any effort, it has to be CONSISTENT effort. One of the books I just finished is all about brain plasticity. It presents an important axiom about brain circuitry: You use it or lose it. So the more you allow your brain to make certain neurons connect (aka, have a particular thought), the more easily that thought will occur. The less you allow it, the more it will simply die and your brain will re-organize itself.
But again, this does not happen over night. You have to take specific steps to train your brain.
When my I don’t feel I intrinsically know something, when my emotions don’t match my logical thought patterns, I take a specific set of steps that usually leave me laughing.
1. Recognize – Identify the emotion you’re feeling (whether it’s logical or not). The key here is not to suppress it, but simply to observe it.
2. Understand – Go through the reasons why you feel this way (whether they are logical/fickle or not). Did a date cancel? Did someone cut you off? Did a friend not call? Did a sibling pass away?
3. Logic – Run through the logic in your head as to why the emotions you’re feeling are illogical. Laugh at yourself and how fickle human emotions can be. Or celebrate the fact that your brother or sister lived an amazing life. Concentrate on the positive.
4. Begin again – You must KEEP reminding yourself why your emotions are illogical. Unless you do this consistently, nothing will change in your mind.
This is all part of brain training – and there’s a couple more things I’ll post soon on how to train your brain 🙂
Do this enough (we’re talking months and years especially if you’re older) and the control you’ll have will amaze you.
You’ll be able to release yourself from your own self induced stress.
You’ll conversely also be able to enjoy your positive emotions even more! You’ll be able to completely let go of all your mind’s inhibitions and allow your positive emotional passions to more fully express themselves.
It’s about controlling that monkey of a mind you have. And only letting it loose when it’s on a positive path.