Addictive Emotions and Thoughts...Wise Words Wednesday
Posted on 1st November 2017 at 09:12
“If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far”. Daniel Goleman
Thinking and Feeling Loops
The more I study and read about personal effectiveness, it becomes more and more obvious that your emotions play a central role in everything you do. The decisions you make, how you communicate, problem solve, deal with people and motivate yourself has everything to do with how you feel on a moment to moment basis.
Dr Joe Dispenza talks about how we create thinking and feeling loops, which become embedded into your subconscious mind.
By the time you are 35 years or in that age range, you use 5% of our conscious mind and 95% or your subconscious mind which means that 95% of the time you are on autopilot. You you have 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day and 70% to 90% of those thoughts are same
Every time you have a thought the brain releases a chemical into the body creating a feeling or an emotion. Because the brain is in constant communication with the body, it will pick up that the body is feeling a certain way. This will generate more thoughts to support the feeling by releasing more chemicals into the body, making the body feel what the brain is thinking.
Let me use the example of someone who becomes nervous about attending network meetings. If you have nervous thoughts about networking, you are likely to feel nervous. The more nervous you feel, the more nervous thoughts you will generate. By doing this you create a thinking and feeling loop.
The following are examples of the thoughts and feelings you might experience:
• I find it hard to walk into a room full of strangers. This gives you butterflies in your stomach and makes you feel anxious before even get to the meeting.
• My elevator pitch is rubbish compared to everyone else’s. Now you experience a dry mouth and feel more anxious.
• Everybody else looks confident when speaking. This makes you feel nervous and feel even more anxious.
Firing and Wiring
If you keep thinking the same thoughts, which lead to the same actions and same emotions, over time your brain will start to fire and wire the same thinking and feeling loop, which will become programmed into the subconscious mind.
The body memorises the emotion of feeling anxious better than the mind. Have you ever experienced occasions when you have you thought I really need to exercise or complete a piece of work and the body has sent a message back up the brain that it is feeling too tired? That feeling of tiredness is less likely to motivate you to act. In fact, you may even find yourself procrastinating or giving up. This is when the body becomes the mind.
Can you recognise some of your thinking and feeling loops? Whenever you experience resistance, fear or procrastination it is more than likely that one of your thinking and feeling loops is firing and wiring a subconscious habit.
To change you need to start paying attention to your thinking and feeling loops becoming more conscious and aware of when they are playing out on a day to day basis.
You need to move from the ‘Doer’ to the ‘Doer Watcher’. In the sporting world of professional athletes, they watch videos of themselves over and over again so that they can learn and make the required changes. When it comes to changing your habits, it is no different. Otherwise how can you change something you are not consciously aware of or recognise what it looks like?
Remember there is a difference between ‘awareness’ and ‘analysis’. Awareness is noting that you are feeling and thinking a certain way. Analysis is taking the thought or feeling and then trying to figure out the cause, finding an explanation or judging yourself.
It is awareness not analysis that allows you to access the subconscious mind and this is where meditation has a pivotal role to play.
In the Tibetan language, meditation means to ‘become familiar with’. To become familiar with anything, you must spend time observing it. This includes your thoughts and feelings.
The Science of Meditation: How to Change Your Brain, Mind and Body -Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
Over to You
I would love to hear about your thinking and feeling loops. Leave a comment below.
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