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Five Ways to Change How you Feel

Five Ways to Change How You Feel

Five Ways to Change How You Feel

We all experience a range of emotions, that vary from low to high, like the rungs of a ladder; from feeling "terribly depressed" at the bottom, to "ecstatically happy" at the top, and with all the various shades of emotion in-between.

At any moment, we occupy a specific place on the emotional ladder, and would often like to know "how to climb the ladder" and experience higher-level emotions, at will.

Understanding Emotional Management

The first step to emotional management is to understand what factors influence and determine which emotions people feel, and then to use those factors to give us the ones that we desire.

The five factors that determine how you feel at any given moment are:

  1. What you focus on.
  2. The meaning you attribute to the things you focus on.
  3. What you do about them.
  4. The company you keep.
  5. Your physical energy levels.

1. What you focus on.

The world is made from an infinite number of facts, but an individual mind can only perceive a tiny fraction of the whole. Whatever you select to be the object of your mental focus becomes your "personal reality" and so your decision about what to focus on fundamentally affects how you feel.

If you change your focus, then you will change the dominating thoughts that occupy your mind and therefore your emotional response.

At any moment you can always choose to focus on either:

  • Your worries about a fearful future.
  • Your plans for a better future.

Those who spend their time focusing on their fears, feel a lot worse than those who focus their thoughts on their plans for a better future.

Each individual may choose either option, so choose wisely.

2. The meaning you attribute to the things you focus upon.

We don't emotionally respond to events; we respond to what we think they mean to us.

For example, finding a spider in the bath creates different emotions in different people, depending upon the meaning that each person associates to spiders.

If you change the meaning, you change the emotional response.

Each person makes the decision to evaluate things in either:

  • Empowering ways, or
  • Dis-empowering ways.

Those people who apply disempowering meanings to events feel worse. Those who apply empowering meanings feel better.

Each of us makes this choice, and it is important to choose wisely.

3. What you do about them.

The third decision we make that affects how we feel is, what to do about any event. We can choose to react in a progressive and adaptive way, or a non-progressive and maladaptive way.

Those people who act in non-progressive and maladaptive ways, feel worse.

Those who react in progressive and adaptive ways, feel better.

It is important to make the right choice.

4. The company you keep.

We are all affected by the company we keep, and the people we listen to. Some people around you motivate and inspire you, most do not, and a small minority of people you know detract from your emotional wellbeing.

Make a list of all the people who detract from your emotional wellbeing and reduce the amount of time you spend with them. Instead, spend that time with the people who have the power to inspire you.

5. Your physical energy levels.

Emotions are a form of energy that need to be generated by means of proper health habits. Some people have terrible health habits; they eat badly, drink too much and don't exercise and so they tend to feel emotionally worse.

Other people do the opposite - they eat well, drink in moderation, and they exercise - so they tend to feel emotionally better.

Everyone gets to choose their food, drink, sleep and exercise routines. Each of these four choices have an effect on your emotional life, so choose wisely.

Climb the emotional ladder.

So, in summary, in order to climb the emotional ladder you should:

  1. Not focus on your fears, but instead focus on your goals.
  2. Evaluate what happens, in the most empowering ways you can.
  3. Don't be passive, be proactive.
  4. Keep the company of inspiring people.
  5. Take good care of your physical body.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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