If you take a breath right now and tune into your emotions, what are you feeling?
Loved? Loving? Gratitude? Stress? Overwhelm? Guilt? Frustration? Joy? Pleasure?
Do you even know?
Your emotional state drives the types of decisions you make on a daily basis, like who you talk to, how you talk to them, how you take care of yourself, what you wear, what you do, and what you think – to name but a few!
We run so fast from one thing to the next (our attention fractured by emails, laundry, Facebook, Instagram), that sometimes we have no clue what we’re actually feeling while we “do it all”. And the pressure builds. And then we find ourselves making crappy decisions — snapping at the people we love, eating junk food, feeling all kinds of yuck.
When we make decisions from a harried, lack-of-peace and lack-of-grace place. we get more of the same.
What if there were a way to switch up the game?
First you need to clear some space in that beautiful brain of yours. Identify and list the emotions you are feeling and why.
Here’s my partial list:
- Sadness about the unexpected and untimely death of a family member.
- Joy about the sparkling sunlight on the snow.
- Pleasure at seeing our black dog race across the white snow.
- Confusion about an old relationship in my life that I’m not sure what to do with.
- Excitement about what’s coming up for The New Brave.
- Wonder about whether I will be able to make it all happen and keep all the balls in the air that need to be.
- Pride that Ben is showing determination and resilience as he joined the swim team and finds himself behind the others but is determined to grow his skills — no sign of giving up.
- Worry about his homework ethic.
As you can see, there’s a lot swimming around in there! But I feel much better just getting them out of my head and down on paper (so to speak). (If you find yourself completely hijacked by an emotion, you might need to explore that emotion more. If so, check out Here’s What to Do With Those Hard Emotions.)
Okay, did you make a list? What did you learn?
Hopefully, you did it, and now you have some clear space in your head. Doesn’t that feel better?
Next, become the orchestra conductor of your emotions.
Identify 3 emotions you want to feel as often as possible over the next 2 weeks.
Then brainstorm a list of how you could make it happen that you experience them.
Include in your list only things that are in your power to do.
(Bonus hint if you get stuck: when you provide an opportunity for someone else to feel something, it moves through you to get to them, so you get to feel it too!)
Now you’re proactively intending and planning what you want to feel, instead of just reacting to others’ expectations and agendas. And you’ve told your brain to create and look for opportunities to feel those things.
So you’ve cut through the noise. You’ve created a filter by which you can weigh all the new thoughts, ideas, and opportunities that come your way. Will they contribute to you feeling x, y, and z (your chosen emotions)? If not, maybe you can skip doing them…or do them quickly and move to the good stuff…or find ways to feel your x, y, and z while you’re doing them.
This is a heck of an easy strategy to use, and it works wonders.
Every morning, consider those three emotions and how you can make sure you feel them in your day.
Every evening, review the 3 emotions and how you were able to feel them.
When you come from a place of intention instead of just reaction, the game changes.
What three emotions have you chosen? I’d love to know! (Mine are playful, loving, and present. Feel free to borrow!)
If you find yourself completely hijacked by an emotion, check out Here’s What to Do With Those Hard Emotions.