Jackie M Johnston once asked her audience. “Have you learned to tell the difference between “experiencing your feelings and being led by them”? The answer to this question is very individual and one each of us must ask ourselves. We cannot become holistically whole people if we don’t answer this question with an instant “yes”!
We cannot begin to act and think positively until we have learned to experience and deal with our feelings, without being pulled down by them. Most people are led by their “gut instincts” when making decisions. How people feel about something often dictates whether they do it or not, or enjoy doing it or not. They may even choose not to do something because of how they feel about it.
The issue with this type of reaction is that it is deeply rooted in the emotions and not in logic, although logic and our feelings may lead us to the same conclusion. This is what is meant by “experiencing your feelings” Have you learned to tell the difference between “experiencing your feelings and being led by them? .Experiencing your feelings, enables you to rise above consider your feelings about something, but then logically decide what action to take.
This is particularly important if have an argument with a spouse or teenage child. It is very easy to be led by feelings as the argument becomes more heated. A wise spouse or parent, on recognizing and understanding the increased feelings of frustration and anger welling up inside them, will suggest time out to give each person time and space to think and respond logically rather than emotionally.
Learning to differentiate between our acting on our feelings and understanding how they can help or hinder our actions and our reactions is essential to achieving positive thinking. Negative feelings can hold us hostage to ourselves and to never achieving anything in our life. We don’t feel happy or contented with what we have, so we strive for more. We feel depressed so we isolate ourselves from others or we over eat. We feel angry so we take it out on in our attitudes with our children or our spouse.
As we learn to channel our negative thoughts and feelings into more positive decision-making, we are able to use them to help us choose behaviours but we don’t let them dictate our actions without first challenging them by thinking through alternative options that can affect positively on our lives and the choice we make.