I’m intrigued whenever I hear about or read about the correlation between our feelings or emotions and our thoughts. I had read about this many years ago and have had this awareness since that time. What has really intrigued me is that knowing it and controlling feelings and emotions are not the same. At times, I’ve actually been aware that I chose to feel bad or sorry for myself because of some incident until I was ready to move on. Fortunately for me, this type of thing doesn’t last long. I know that the ‘move on‘ part is important and I do.
The information in this post is from Henry Lodge, MD, one of the authors of Younger Next Year For Women.
There have been questions as to which is the lead, thoughts or emotions. And the research has shown that most of the time our emotions take the lead. Our thoughts follow. Maybe it should be the other way around, but it is not.
Emotion literally precedes thought at the neural level. So a positive emotion will tend to generate a positive thought in response. And, like an ongoing circle, having a positive thought will generate a positive feeling. Here’s the other side of the coin… The same loop works for negative thoughts and feelings.
Actually, according to Dr. Lodge, the research has shown that we have a remarkable ability to think and feel our way into happier or more depressed states, regardless of external reality. And, you can train yourself to live in either an optimistic or a pessimistic frame of mind regardless of your external circumstances.
How you view your life has a surprisingly large role in determining how your life goes. So there is a real premium on having positive emotions. The good news is that you can create positive emotions by consciously creating positive environments.
The doctor’s advice: Good stimuli like exercise, decent sleep, rational diet, love and play. Happiness comes primarily from building connections, giving and getting love and friendship. All of this takes work, but how satisfying it is when you have done it. In other words, connect and commit to generate those positive emotions that will give you great thoughts and a happy life.
What are your experiences with this? How do you keep your emotions and thoughts in good shape?