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How Changing Your Thoughts Leads to Emotional Freedom

January 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 216

Do you sometimes feel like your emotions are getting in the way of your success and happiness? Do you find yourself feeling bogged down by negativity, anger or resentment? Are your fears keeping you from doing things that you might like to try? If so, here are some keys to changing these patterns and being much happier in your life.

Several folks have told me this week that they woke up feeling awful or anxious or something else negative. And that it was downhill from there for the rest of the day. Not that unusual a conversation starter in my line of work as a therapist. And then I had a day like that myself...first time in a long time.

By 10AM I was well mired in doom and gloom, and then by 10:15 asked myself what was up with this? Several things occurred to me. Asking that question pushed me into Observer Mode rather than Reactor Mode. One thing was for sure: I was in the midst of doing some stinkin' thinkin' which was responsible for my glum mood and low energy.

This is how it works; it's a big chain reaction in which one event gives rise to the next, and on and on, over and over again throughout the day. Or a few minutes if we are paying attention and intercede. Or a week, month, year or lifetime if we don't.

- The Trigger Event is something that occurs outside of us; something that we generally have no control over.

- The Trigger Event in turn brings up a Thought. There are times when an emotion is instantly triggered, but it's usually a thought.

- Emotion is then shaped by the thought. And these two factors, thought and emotion can go back and forth either strengthening the emotion or bringing up different emotions.

- Behavior comes next. We choose a behavior and this is the point where we have all the choice in the world, as well as the responsibility for whatever we do.

- Consequence is the last link in the chain. There is always some kind of consequence to the behavior that we do, and while we may predict it, the full consequence is out of our hands or control.

Here is an example of how this chain works. Robert is getting ready for work and half watching and listening to a morning television show while he dresses. He hears some bad news about the national economy (Trigger Event). His immediate thought is something like, "Things are just getting worse everywhere! What's the use?" (Thought). This in turn evokes feelings of fear and helplessness (Emotion). He goes on for awhile thinking more along these lines until his emotions are amplified. By now he is taking this personally and wondering when his own job might be terminated, probably without notice. When his wife comes into the room to ask about when she should ask for time off the vacation they have planned, he curtly replies that she should forgot about a vacation this year; they can't afford it! (Behavior). His bewildered wife asks why on earth he is saying this since they have saved for the vacation, and all their expenses are already covered. An argument ensues and as they both drive off to work, they both feel angry and frustrated. (Consequence).

If you were to ask Robert what was wrong, he would likely tell you about the news event, how it "made him feel" and go on a rant about how bad things are and how he wouldn't be at all surprised if his employer would lay him off at any time. As he sees it the bad news is responsible for his bad mood and it doesn't help that his wife "just doesn't get it." Her head is obviously stuck in the sand or she would be ready to cancel their vacation too because it is a frivolous waste of money, in light of how bad things are.

If Robert were aware of his own thought-emotion chain, he could see that he is reacting to the news story and that he has other options. There are no doubt many other people who saw the same news story and had very different reactions to it. It isn't the trigger event itself that causes Robert's misery; it is his thoughts about it that are responsible. If he becomes aware and challenges his thoughts, beliefs and assumptions, it is possible to have a perfectly fine day, be in a good mood and continue planning the vacation with his wife.

When you hear yourself make comments such as, "You make me really mad!" or "You make me really happy!" or "So-and-so is driving me crazy!" or "Such and such made me worry all day," pay attention because you have just zipped down the Trigger Event-Thought-Emotion-Behavior-Consequence chain of events.

The truth is that no one and nothing can "make" you feel anything. Each of us is responsible for the emotions we feel and what we do with them. If the responsibility seems daunting, when you challenge yourself to pay attention and change them, you will feel much more empowered. And isn't that what we are going for?

When the Chain is thoroughly entrenched you may discover that you learned the pattern of beliefs to emotions from your family, your teachers or even from watching television. Perhaps you have had years of practice, so the process is automatic and well engrained. This is when learning and using EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique makes all the difference. Also known as Meridian Tapping, you will be able to clarify your thoughts and using acupuncture points, tap with your fingers to release the emotions that are blocking you.

Janet Eisenbise invites you to learn more about resources for healthy living. Making use of new knowledge and products will lead you to a more balanced life. Visit here and begin to lead the life you want and deserve.

Source: EzineArticles
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